Crime

Worcester man, 37, allegedly followed girl from school bus in attempted kidnapping

Jose Palau told the girl that her mom sent him to pick her up, police said.

Authorities allege a 37-year-old man attempted to kidnap a girl in Worcester when he followed her from her school bus and tried to grab her Monday afternoon.

Jose Palau is facing several charges stemming from the incident, including attempted kidnapping, accosting someone of the opposite sex, assault, and a lewd and lascivious act, according to Worcester police.

Officials said police were called to the area near 582 West Boylston St. around 2:20 p.m. for a report of a suspicious man who was trying to lure a girl into his vehicle.

Upon arrival, police found Palau, a Worcester resident, who became confrontational and aggressive when an officer approached him, authorities said in a statement.

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“Mr. Palau made several inappropriate gestures and lewd comments to the officer,” police said. “A juvenile female stepped out of the business to flag down officers, prompting Mr. Palau to say, ‘That’s my girl!'”

Additional officers arrived and spoke to the girl, who had called authorities.

Based off their initial investigation, police believe Palau watched the girl exit and walk away from a school bus near King Philip Road, officials said.

Palau then followed her and called after her, police said.

“The female became concerned and picked up the pace of her walking, but Mr. Palau approached her and tried to grab her,” officials said in a statement. “Mr. Palau walked up to a vehicle and told the victim to get in the vehicle with him.”

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Palau again tried to grab the girl as she pulled away from him, police said. He allegedly told her that the girl’s mother had sent him to pick her up.

Authorities said the girl ran into a nearby business where she waited for police to arrive. She told police she had never seen Palau before.

Palau was scheduled to be arraigned at Worcester District Court Tuesday.

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