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Police: Man Held on Morals Charge For Inviting Girl Into His Car

Tells officers 'I waved, she waved, but I didn't know she was 14 years old,' police said.

 

A city man was arrested Monday for allegedly inviting a girl into his car and taking her to a doughnut shop.

The 14-year-old girl told officers she mistakenly thought the man was a friend of her father's, and left the shop when she realized she was wrong.

The accused, Manuel Infante, never attempted to restrain her, police said.

Police were notified of the incident by the girl's mother at 10:32 a.m.

Monday afternoon police asked news agencies to publish surveillance photos of a man who had been in the Dunkin' Donuts shop at 458 Westport Ave. Police spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Cotto said several callers identified the man as Infante after seeing the photos.

Cotto said the girl's description of what occurred mostly matched what Infante told officers; that he waved at the girl as she was walking on Westport Avenue and she waved back.

Cotto said they both stated Infante stopped his car and asked her if she wanted to go to Dunkin' Donuts. She agreed, entered his car and they went there.

The girl told police she began wondering if she was mistaken about the man being a friend of her father's, but entered the doughnut shop with him. They both ordered food.

Cotto said at some point the man put his hand on her leg and kissed her on the cheek. She became uncomfortable, Cotto said, left and went to a friend's house.

Cotto said Infante, 38, told officers he didn't realize how young the girl is. She said he was very cooperative, apologized and said he "didn't want to scare her."

Based on calls from the public, police said they located Infante at his home on Purdy Road. The street number police provided for his address doesn't exist. Police did not immediately respond to a request to correctly identify Infante's address.

Infante was charged with risk of impairing the morals of a minor and second-degree breach of peace. He was held in lieu of $25,000 bond and was taken to state Superior Court in Norwalk Tuesday morning to be arraigned.

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