A Sandusky man was arrested Friday after investigators determined he recently tried to lure a 9-year-old girl into his van, police said.
William Montgomery, 58, of the 500 block of McDonough St., was charged with child enticement, a first-degree misdemeanor.
On July 6, Montgomery approached two young girls who were playing outside near Fallen Timber Drive, Sandusky police said.
Montgomery asked the 9-year-old to speak with him privately, but her friend lingered within earshot of their conversation.
The girl later told police that Montgomery asked her if she wanted to be his girlfriend, then asked if she wanted to go for a ride. The girl declined the offers, but Montgomery persisted, police said.
When he asked the girl to help him with some work, the girl told him no.
At that point, the girl’s older brother emerged from their home and saw Montgomery talking to his sister from inside a van. The girl’s brother alerted his mom, who in turn went to confront Montgomery, police said.
Montgomery told the woman he was simply asking for help with a job. When the girl’s mother didn’t buy the tale, Montgomery drove off, police said.
He later returned and began circling the neighborhood, frightening the girls and prompting a neighbor to call police. The girls told officers they recognized Montgomery from around town, but they only knew him as “Mr. Bill,” police said.
They also told officers that Montgomery had never approached them in this manner previously.
Sandusky detectives questioned Montgomery Thursday and quickly picked up on inconsistencies when recounted the recent events. His van also matched the description the girls provided.
Montgomery voluntarily returned to the police station Friday morning, where officers arrested him. He denied asking the girl to be his girlfriend and also said he did not ask her if she wanted to go for a ride, according to police.
Detectives said they’re checking to see if there are similarities between this case and other incidents in nearby areas.