Police arrested Adolfo Diaz, 54, of Central Islip, on Sept. 13 and charged him with first-degree harassment. Cops caught up with him at 7:08 a.m. as he attempted to approach the student for the fourth time, police said.
Diaz was arrested after officers conducted a surveillance and sting operation Friday morning, said Third Precinct Sgt. James Scimone. Officials at Islip High School notified police that the 16-year-old student had reported being followed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
In a letter to parents, school principal Eileen Rossman said the student had reported the encounters to school administrators on Sept. 10 and cautioned parents to be extra vigilant and review stranger safety issues with their children.
School officials said the man who approached the teen was driving a burgundy passenger van with “Church Bus” lettering on the side. The vehicle was said to have Connecticut license plates and a Puerto Rican flag hanging from the rear-view mirror.
Scimone said the vehicle appeared to be “an old converted van.” Although the vehicle still had the church lettering, investigators do not believe Diaz had any connection to a church group, the sergeant said.
Police said Diaz had approached the teen on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. When he pulled alongside her, Diaz reportedly uttered words that Scimone described as “inaudible.”
Diaz is scheduled to be arraigned at a later date. He could not be reached for comment.