SOUTH BRUNSWICK — Police have arrested a man they say tried to lure a young girl into his van.

The incident happened on Tuesday in a cul-de-sac off Davidson Mill Road, according to Chief Raymond Hayducka. The girl told police that she had gotten off the school bus when she first saw the van. While the girl was walking home the van pulled up next to her and "asked her about becoming his best friend," according to the chief.

The girl ran home and said the driver turned around and drove away, police said. Officers searched the nearby area and identified the van as belonging to Samuels Construction of Hamilton. The driver was then identified as Wayne F. Samuels, 34, of Trenton, who had an outstanding traffic warrant out of Jamesburg.

Police determined Samuels had been watching the children get off the bus and "attempted to lure her into providing information so that he could locate her later," Hayducka said.

"Few incidents raise as much concern as someone trying to lure a child. Within the first hour officers and detectives had identified a potential suspect. Just over 24 hours after the incident detectives had the suspect in custody," Hayducka said. "This case came together because of a brave juvenile and great police work."

Samuels was charged with attempted luring of a child and released. His first court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 3.

Hayducka encouraged anyone with information about Samuels, or had similar experiences to call detective Monica Posteraro at 732-329-4000 ext. 7496.

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