A town on edge

The normally tranquil community of Bethel remains on edge.

That’s because parents continue to wonder if there is a man targeting their children.

That’s the fallout from an attempted abduction a couple of weeks ago.

Things like that aren’t supposed to happen in Bethel.

Not anymore.

A 13-year-old reported that she was waiting for her morning bus when a man dressed in black, wearing a mask and wielding a knife jumped out of the bushes and accoster her in the Trotter’s Lea development.

Luckily for her, the bus rounded the corner a few seconds later and the man fled.

The story had the community buzzing, with parents wondering if their kids were safe in their seemingly comfortable suburb.

There also was an unmistakable undercurrent of doubt surrounding the story, despite authorities saying several times they had no reason not to believe the girl’s story.

The doubters were quieted a bit when a few days after the reported attack, a woman walking her dog on Trotter’s Lea Lane found a mask that matched a description of the one the suspect was wearing.

The mask was forwarded on to the FBI for analysis.

Tonight police and township officials will try to further ease residents’ concerns at a meeting set for 6:30 at Bethel Springs Elementary School.

The focus will be on the state’s Megan’s Law Web site, along with child predator prevention and education.

The recent attack was just the most recent in several instances going back to the summer.

On hand tonight will be state Rep. Steve Barrar, R-160, Claude Thomas of the state Attorney General’s Office, Magisterial District Judge Richard Cappelli, representatives from the Pennsylvania State Police, and Bethel Police Chief John Cairo.

The school is located at 3280 Foulk Road.

I expect the place to be packed. That’s what happens when fear starts to grip what seemed like such a safe place.


Anonymous said…
Even though I am one of the doubters, I have not been quiet about it. The FBI should have come to a conclusion by now as to whether this indeed was the mask as decribed with the webbing over the eyes and not just and article of clothing thrown out on the street early on a Saturday morning to silence all of the doubters.
I do think this is good having this meeting to make people more aware that this can happen in their neighborhood and provide to provide more safe guards such as not leaving your little girl on the corner waiting for a bus all by herself.