QUEENS — Two teenagers — including one who was wearing a mask and had a gun — were arrested Thursday for allegedly trying to abduct two groups of young girls in Southeast Queens, police said.
Joshua Wright, 17, of Queens Village, and Andrew Ghulam, 16, of Hollis, face attempted unlawful imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal possession of a weapon and harassment charges in connection with two incidents that occurred on Wednesday, April 30.
The first incident took place at 4 p.m. near 111th Avenue and 208th Street in Queens Village, police said.
An 11-year-old girl was on her way home from school when she saw a dark-green SUV, with two men inside, slowly following her, according to the NYPD.
Wright, who was the passenger in the car and wearing a mask, got out of the car and tried to talk to the girl, saying "come here," police said. The girl managed to escape and the suspects drove away, police said.
Shortly after that, the teens allegedly tried to abduct three girls who were walking together near the intersection of 113th Avenue and 196th Street in Hollis, about a dozen blocks away from the previous incident.
The girls — a 10-year-old and two 11-year-olds — who were also on their way home from school, noticed that a green Jeep Cherokee with a NYS license plate was following them, police said.
In that incident, police said that Ghulam allegedly handed a firearm to Wright, who then covered his face with a mask before getting out of the car.
The girls ran away and hid behind a parked car until the suspects drove away.
Police patrols canvassing the area Thursday spotted the teens around 4:15 p.m. as they were driving in the Jeep near Francis Lewis Boulevard and 111th Avenue in Queens Village, and arrested them shortly after. The gun has not been recovered, police said.
As of Friday morning, the suspects, none of whom had prior history with the NYPD, were awaiting arraignment, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.