SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – A 10-year-old Syracuse girl is home safe after a man attempted to lure her to go with him as she was waiting for the school bus Monday morning.

Gary Sholtz (21) of Syracuse approached the 10-year-old child on the city’s east side in the 300 block of Columbus Avenue just before 8:15 a.m.

Syracuse Police say Sholtz made a sexual gesture at the young girl and then tried offering her money to go with him.

What could have been a family tragedy was stopped by the child’s quick-acting mother.

Like most school mornings, Kathleen Stewart watched her 10-year-old daughter wait for the bus from a distance.

As I watched, everything seemed fine, but I feel like I was too far. So, I got closer to her and when I did get closer to her, I saw the man standing clear as day right like a few feet to the left of her.


Police say the man, 21-year-old Gary Sholtz, approached Kathleen’s daughter, Kamiah, tried luring her to go with him by offering her money while demonstrating a sexual gesture.

Mom was nearby, saw what happened and quickly sprang into action to save her daughter.

“I wanted to be angry for her because she doesn’t deserve that at all as a child. No child deserves to be introduced to anything in any type of way in that manner.”


Her daughter doesn’t know the man and neither does Kathleen, but she was going to do anything she could to protect Kamiah.

Sholtz tried to flee, but Kathleen followed him until police were able to take the suspect into custody not too far away from the scene on Erie Boulevard.

“This was a complete case of stranger danger. That’s the thing, we don’t see these cases a lot, but they definitely do happen and having that conversation with your kids is important.”


Gary Sholtz (21) of Syracuse is charged with the following:

  • Endangering the welfare of a child
  • Attempting to lure a child
  • Patronizing a person for prostitution

Sholtz is being held at the Onondaga County Justice Center.

Kathleen is using this unfortunate incident that happened to her and her daughter to raise awareness for other children and parents.

I’m bringing awareness to things like this because it’s so very serious. We don’t know how serious it is until that’s our child. Pay close attention to your children. You know, if they see something, say something. Stranger danger. Communicate with your child and make sure that your child knows that they can trust you to be able to tell you things that might scare them.