Police: Man uses 'food and drinks' in attempt to lure young boys to his apartment

Jemberu Bekele Geda. (Photo Credit: Montgomery County Police)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (ABC7) — A 37-year-old man is charged with attempted child abduction and indecent exposure because police say he tried to lure two young boys into his apartment, plus expose himself to a 13-year-old girl.

Shortly before 6:45 p.m. on Easter Sunday, two boys, eight and nine years old, were at a neighborhood playground in the area of 11550 Stewart Lane when Jemberu Geda allegedly "grabbed them by their wrists" and tried to take them to his apartment. When the boys, who police say are cousins, fought back, the 37-year-old reportedly let them go.

Charging documents filed in Montgomery County District Court state Geda tried to entice the boys "with food and drinks" before grabbing hold of their wrists. After freeing themselves, police say the boys ran home and told a parent what had happened. Authorities were then contacted.

Patrol officers, responding to the 911 call, spoke with a 13-year-old girl at the same playground. The girl claimed that prior to the attempted abduction, Geda had exposed and fondled his genitals in plain view of multiple children on-and-around the playground.

The 13-year-old girl managed to spot Geda standing on his back patio - roughly 200 feet from the playground. Authorities say he was "extremely difficult and uncooperative" but later admitted to grabbing the two boys, "because he wanted them to come play in his apartment." He also confessed to walking around with his genitals fully visible.

Detectives with the Special Victims Investigative Department (SVID) say based on a “demonstrated a pattern of behavior", they believe Geda has more child victims.

“Yeah, I’m not surprised," one of Geda's neighbors told ABC7 News. "He stands and stares at people all the time. Any visitor I have, they always ask, 'What’s wrong with this guy?' I always say, 'I don’t know, he’s just my neighbor, I see him just like that and I mind my own business. I don’t know what’s wrong with him.'"

On Wednesday, a blue latex glove, presumably used by police during the investigation, rested on the stairwell outside Geda's ground floor apartment. Neighbors say the 37-year-old lived alone at the Montgomery White Oaks Apartments, a community where he's resided for a number of years. Geda's employment and criminal histories were not immediately known.

“That’s why I don’t let my grandson go out alone. Never. When he comes home from school he stays inside and does his homework. If he wants to go out, we go out together," Geda's neighbor added.

Geda is facing two counts of attempted abduction of a child under the age of 12 and one count of indecent exposure. He remains behind bars in Montgomery County and faces more than 40 years in prison.

The charging document can be read below in full:

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