POLICE: NYC COP TRIED TO LURE GIRL

Police say officer tried to get youngster into his van with offer of money

JORDAN CARLEO-EVANGELIST STAFF WRITER
Section: Capital Region,  Page: D6

Date: Thursday, June 24, 2010

ALBANY -- A veteran New York City detective is accused of repeatedly trying to lure a fifth-grade girl on her way to school into his pickup truck with promises of money.


Deodhram Singh, 38, a Manhattan-based detective who's spent 16 years with the NYPD, was charged Tuesday with misdemeanor child endangerment and harassment, a violation, after he allegedly approached the same 11-year-old girl three times as she walked to Philip Schuyler Academy, authorities said.


Police said Singh -- who told them he was self-employed -- pulled his pickup truck alongside the Arbor Hill Elementary School student around 8:15 a.m. at the corner of Clinton Avenue and Ontario Street and asked her, "Do you want to make some money?"


The girl, who was walking to the school's temporary home at the Philip Schuyler Academy on Washington Avenue, ignored the overture and kept walking, police said.


After she turned on Ontario and walked south toward Central Avenue, the same black truck approached her near the intersection with Bradford Street, and the driver asked her how old she was and again asked if she wanted to make some money, police said.


According to court records, the girl told investigators she began to walk faster and looked nervously over her shoulder as the man turned off the street.


The girl then told police she turned onto Kent Street, heading toward her grandparents' house, when the man pulled alongside her for a third time, this time asking if she was young and wanted to make $100.


This time, police said, she told him she didn't talk to strangers and ran up the stairs to her grandparents' house, where she was met by her grandfather.


The girl's grandfather then tailed the truck until he was able get the license plate number, said Detective James Miller, a police spokesman.


Police, using the truck's registration, tracked the vehicle to Singh's name at an address in Freeport, Nassau County. But Singh's name -- and address on the 2nd floor of 335 Second St. -- also appeared in the police computer system as having been questioned in connection with an illegal dumping complaint, Miller said.


Miller said Singh admitted having been in the area but denied trying to lure the girl into his truck.


Only later, when Singh's fingerprints were processed by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, did Albany police learn he was a police officer, Miller said.


The NYPD, meanwhile, has stripped Singh of his gun and badge and suspended him without pay for 30 days, said Sgt. Carlos Nieves, a department spokesman. Nieves said Singh will return only to restricted duty once his suspension is complete. Singh was arraigned in City Court and released on $2,500 bail. He is due back in court June 29.