Man charged with luring kids at Tacoma YMCA

VIDEO: Man charged with luring kids at Tacoma YMCA

TACOMA, Wash. — A 50-year-old man has been charged after police said he tried to lure children outside a Tacoma YMCA.

According to the charges James Greene Jr. stood in the parking lot outside the Morgan Family YMCA in Tacoma Tuesday evening repeatedly trying to lure kids into his car.

“The one that we were able to contact said that the gentleman offered him a phone if he got into his vehicle,” said Tacoma police spokeswoman Officer Wendy Haddow.

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Greene is accused of approaching children as young as 3 to 6 years old but was rebuffed in those incidents because they were accompanied by adults.

Greene then allegedly approached a 12-year-old boy identified only as C.D. who was alone waiting for a ride home. According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Pierce County Superior Court, “Greene asked him to get into his car and motioned to a nearby black SUV,” Greene asked the boy. If his parents give him a house key, a car, or an allowance, then offered all of these things, along with a larger allowance, if C.D. would get into his car.”

C.D. refused and reported what happened when his ride arrived and police were notified.

A spokesman for the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap counties says even before the incident the Y had improved security outside the building.

“We recently installed additional lights in our parking lots to make them safer and more visible,” said Jonny Eberle, communications director for the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap counties. “We have security cameras onsite, our staff are trained to look for security issues that may arise.”

Tacoma police said they want to hear from others Greene approached outside the Y.

“If there were witnesses to this male speaking to children in front of the YMCA, anyone that he approached, please contact the Tacoma police department,” said Haddow.

Greene was already wanted on a bench warrant for failing to appear in court on charges of death threats. He had been released without bail. He’s now been placed on a no-bail hold after pleading not guilty to charges.