West Kendall

Second child says man tried to pull her into bathroom at Kendall community center

 

crabin@MiamiHerald.com

A second child has come forward with claims that a man tried to grab her and pull her into a restroom at a Jewish community center in Kendall.

Miami-Dade police interviewed a 6-year-old girl earlier this week who told them that on July 10, a man grabbed her and tried to pull her into the men's room, but that she was able to escape after screaming for help. Several people ran to the girl’s assistance, including some police officers who were working out in a gym nearby.

While talking to the 6-year-old, police said, a 9-year-old girl also attending summer camp at the center approached them with virtually the same story, and said the incident happened on July 8, two days before the other encounter.

The 9-year-old told police she was at a vending machine while attending summer camp at the Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center at 11155 SW 112th Ave., when a man approached her from behind, bear-hugged her, and tried to pull her into the men's room.

Like the 6-year-old, the 9-year-old screamed and the man released her, she told police. She couldn’t describe the man to police in enough detail for them to make an identification.

The 6-year-old, however, gave a better eyewitness account of the man so that police were able to identify him as Dean Beck, a 39-year-old who worked out at the center and who was later charged with attempted kidnapping.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show Beck was arrested in 2002 on child pornography charges. He is a registered sex offender who somehow slipped through the cracks at the JCC and was allowed to use the facility and obtain a membership.

Ed Rosen, director of the center, said Beck also took part in a special needs program at the JCC and would often come by and work out with his mother. Rosen said it's common practice for the center to check if members are on a sexual offender list.

Police would still like anyone who has any information on Beck to contact them at Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers, 305-471-8477.

Read more Miami-Dade stories from the Miami Herald

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