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Child-Luring Suspect Says She Was Just Teaching Kids A Lesson: Prosecutor

By Erica Demarest | October 3, 2016 5:32am
 Monica Marrero, 37, is accused of trying to abduct children near Schubert Elementary School.
Monica Marrero, 37, is accused of trying to abduct children near Schubert Elementary School.
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DNAinfo; Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A Belmont Cragin woman accused of trying to abduct children while driving a green van told police she was doing it for their own good, prosecutors said.

Monica Marrero, 37, told police after getting arrested she was trying to scare the kids, trying to teach them a lesson in case they were ever kidnapped for real, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors weren't buying it, so they slapped her with child luring charges. 

According to prosecutors, a 4-year-old girl was playing outside with her preschool class around noon Sept. 22 when Marrero approached, gave the girl $2 and promised to buy ice cream if she got into her van.

The girl became frightened and ran to an adult sitting on a nearby bench, Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said during a bond hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, 2600 S. California Ave.

When police arrested Marrero, she told officers she initially targeted a little boy before going after the 4-year-old girl — and that she was trying to abduct children to scare them and teach them a lesson so that they'd know what to do if someone ever kidnapped them, prosecutors said.

Marrero also told officers she was a pervert who wanted to take the 4-year-old girl out for ice cream, Scaduto noted.

According to court testimony, Marrero is bipolar and was not taking all of her medication at the time of the luring attempt.

The incident unfolded outside Schubert Elementary School, 2727 N. Long Ave., authorities said. Multiple witnesses noticed Marrero driving a green van and waving at children, according to Scaduto.

Marrero initially drove up alongside the 4-year-old girl and yelled to her from the van, prosecutors said. When the girl wasn't responsive, Marrero got out of the van and approached with $2 and the promise of ice cream, Scaduto said.

A witness walking a dog saw Marrero reach her arm into the playground and ask the girl her name, according to prosecutors.

When the girl ran away, Marrero got back into the van and was later spotted circling the school, Scaduto said.

After an investigation, police arrested Marrero Wednesday; she is charged with luring a child.

Cook County Judge Laura Sullivan on Friday ordered Marrero held in lieu of $250,000 bail. Should Marrero post bond, she's not allowed to go near Schubert Elementary School, the judge ruled.

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