Close Encounter: Attempted abduction suspect makes bail, court date scheduled
By Kaitlin MacRae
The local man charged with attempting to lure a female Rider University student into his vehicle on Monday is out on bail and will appear in court next week, said Sergeant Joseph Caloiaro of the Lawrence Township Police Department (LTPD) Thursday.
Tony Kadyhrob posted 10 percent of the $2,500 bail and is scheduled to appear in the Lawrence Municipal Court on Tuesday at 8 a.m., said Caloiaro.
Kadyhrob, 68, of Lawrence, was arrested Tuesday afternoon after attempting to lure a 19-year-old female student into his vehicle, a third degree felony under New Jersey law. According to Lt. Charles Edgar of LTPD, Kadyhrob was apprehended on Tuesday without incident at his residence on the 2000 block of Princeton Pike.
“He’s been strongly advised that he’s not to go anywhere near campus… or the victim,” Edgar said.
According to Edgar, officers were called to the Lawrenceville campus on Monday on a report of a student who claimed a man attempted to lure her into his vehicle in Z lot near the South entrance of campus.
The official police report and mug shot were unavailable.
Public Safety issued a warning via Rider Alert around 2:50 p.m. on Monday notifying students of the incident. The initial alert described the suspect as a white male in his 50s, tall and thin with a bushy moustache, and as wearing a gray beret, jeans and pointed brown boots. The university promptly notified LTPD.
The student, who is from Monroe, N.J., told police she was getting out of her car when she observed a man who looked suspicious. As she began walking toward her destination, the man engaged her in small talk. He then proceeded to grab her by her upper arm and attempted to get her into his car. She was able to get away and ran toward Daly’s before returning to her residence hall, where she called Public Safety, according to Edgar.
“We were able to put officers on the scene. They were able to determine they possibly knew who this guy was based on the officers’ previous contact with him,” Edgar said.
The law states that “a person commits a crime of the third degree if he attempts, via electronic or any other means, to lure or entice a person into a motor vehicle, structure or isolated area, or to meet or appear at any place, with a purpose to commit a criminal offense with or against the person lured or enticed or against any other person.”
Many students reported seeing Kadyhrob around campus within the last several weeks. Some claimed to have seen him in Cranberry’s, the pub and Daly’s. Others, like junior Natia Katsantonis, saw him in the university’s parking lots.
“I saw him a few times before spring break. I first saw him in R lot, and thought ‘Wow, interesting fashion sense.’ Then I saw him in Cranberry’s where he just sat there staring,” she said. “I’m happy he’s been arrested. It makes me feel more secure, but it also scares me that Rider is so open to intruders. I thought, ‘What if it was me?’ Because when I first saw him, I was walking to my car alone.”
Junior Lucy Higgins also saw Kadyhrob before spring break.
“We saw him in Cranberry’s the day before spring break and he was sitting by himself just staring at everyone. He was not eating anything, just watching everyone,” Higgins said. “He was dressed in a Rider basketball jersey but seemed really out of place because of his age. Everyone I was eating with was pretty uncomfortable watching him just creep on people sitting in Cranberry’s.”
Dean of Students Anthony Campbell said that no suspicious persons had been reported to Public Safety prior to Monday’s incident.
“When we did the Rider Alert [on Monday], a number of people did say to us that they had seen him on campus, but at no time prior to that did anyone report or indicate that he acted inappropriately,” Campbell said.
According to sophomore Louise Mayer, who works for Student Escort, the number of requests for escorts around campus doubled the night of the incident.
Director of Public Safety Vickie Weaver was unavailable for comment.
Some students do not feel the campus is safe enough and that measures should be taken to tighten security. Senior Chris Shepherd believes that the attempted abduction shows that security on the Lawrenceville campus is too lax.
“I just felt like it was a violation of a safe place that we all call home,” he said. “I feel like a combination of Public Safety and Residence Life could use an overhaul in the area of security and safety in the residence halls, particularly if he was able to get into one of the buildings.”
Sophomore April Lanzet feels that Rider is unsafe compared to other area schools.
“I visited my friend at Kean and to get into their buildings, you also have to swipe but you hand your ID to either an RA that’s on duty at the front desk, or at night there is a police officer on duty there. All people who come in the building are kept track of too by handing over a license or ID,” she said. “I felt much safer there than I do here where you can pull the doors open by pulling hard enough, and half the buildings don’t even have front desks.”
On the other hand, Rider alumnus Paul Gasior views Rider as a secure campus and thinks increasing security would only make students feel trapped.
“Rider is a very safe campus with Lawrenceville police patrolling every weekend,” he wrote on The Rider News Facebook page. “Also, with the swipe access into each building and only one entrance open at night, the likelihood of someone unauthorized to be on campus is minimal. Closing the entrances during school time would only cause major traffic and the Rider to become a jail where everyone is checked in and out.”
Campbell says that, despite the incident, “part of a university is to be open to the community.”
“Even though we’re a safe campus, a university has visitors to it. We can’t stop everybody that comes to campus in any way, shape or form,” he said. “I think we would get a very different kind of education experience if we closed the campus down to outsiders.”
Campbell added that Rider’s public and strong relationship with LTPD helped secure Kadyhrob as a suspect.
“We have a very good Public Safety here,” Campbell said. “When we put out the Rider Alert, Public Safety got a lot of people responding to that. And we got a lot of leads out of that, which helped us to identify a suspect. I think the part that was real important was that the Rider alert did work and it was really helpful for investigative purposes.”
Additional reporting by Allie Ward and Emily Landgraf.