Man Arrested After Approaching Girl Outside Courthouse and Asking for Hug: Police

A 28-year-old Meriden man has been charged with attempting to commit kidnapping after approaching a girl outside New Britain Superior Court in September and asking for a hug, according to state police.

Mahfuz Alhamid is accused of approaching a 12-year-old girl outside New Britain Superior Court around 2:20 p.m. on Sept. 13, while her mother was meeting with probation staff, police said. He is also accused of trying to get her to leave the premises with him.

The girl was sitting on one of the benches outside the courthouse when a stranger sat down next to her and asked if she lived in Meriden, according to police. Then he asked if he could get a hug and kiss.

The girl said no, got up from the bench and asked another stranger for help, according to police. The witness, who was wearing a court-monitored ankle bracelet, said no at first because he did not want more trouble, but did approach the man and ask why he was bothering the girl, according to police.

The man was identified as an interpreter, according to state police, so investigators reached out to his place of business and Alhamid admitted to speaking with the girl and asking for a hug, but she said she did not hug strangers, according to police.

Alhamid turned himself in to police Monday and was charged with attempting to commit kidnapping, breach of peace and risk of injury to a child.

He was held on $250,000 bond and is due in Superior Court in New Britain tomorrow.

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