The Queens Library has installed security cameras throughout its stacks after a man fondled a young girl last August at the Steinway branch in Astoria. The cameras were implemented in response to an incident in which a man removed a 7-year-old girl's shoes and fondled her feet and rubbed them against his face, authorities said.
The man quickly fled the scene and has not yet been caught. He was described as a Hispanic male in his 40s, 170 pounds with salt and pepper hair.
City Councilman and Chairman of the Public Safety Committee Peter Vallone Jr. pushed for the installation of the surveillance cameras at the branch. Wherever there are kids we should provide as much protection as we can, said Vallone, according to NY Daily News. Vallone plans to have a similar security system implemented in the other public library in his district.
Vallone noted that the new surveillance system was paid for with previously allocated money for a renovation project of the branch. We appreciate every effort to keep our library safe and secure, said library spokeswoman Joanna King.