A teaching moment: What State Police say you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to an online predator

Local News

CENTRAL NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — New York State Police are warning parents after a local mom took matters into her own hands to protect her 13-year-old from an online predator. This case ended with 23-year-old Trystan Chartier behind bars.

State Police say parents should be checking what apps their kids are using and who they’re talking to, but they don’t want people putting themselves in danger.

When a Central New York mom found her daughter messaging a man she didn’t know, she did what any good parent would do: Protect her child. She took over the conversation, got him to meet her at a DeWitt market, and flagged down a Trooper.

State Trooper Jack Keller tells NewsChannel 9’s Nicole Sommavilla, she’s lucky it didn’t end differently.

“When we meet up with these predators, they’re not 20, 15, 16, these are 40, 50, 60-year-old men,” said Keller.

These predators tend to be men who are built by muscle or who could be carrying a weapon, and they often gain a teen’s trust without seeing them.

“Now they’re able to meet them strictly in the privacy of their own bedroom,” said Keller, which is why it’s important for parents to know what apps their kids are using.

Trooper Keller also encourages parents to call the people trained to handle these situations.

“There’s a lot of luck that played in here. One is that she saw a Trooper the same time she was meeting up with this individual, and two, that this individual wasn’t violent,” said Keller.

It’s a matter of safety, but it could also hurt the investigation. A computer crime unit is trained to pull data from devices, but they can’t do that if it’s already gone.

“A lot of these guys know how to erase things, they know how to work around certain firewalls,” said Keller.

It’s evidence that could help them in a trial, or help other victims.

“It’s best to leave it to the professionals,” said Keller, because you don’t know who’s on the other end of that screen, or how dangerous they may be.

As far as this specific case, Tryston Chartier,23, has been charged with sexual abuse, forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child. He has been released from custody but is scheduled to appear in Town of DeWitt court later this month.

Click here to read more about this case.

If you think you or your child has been a victim of Trystan Chartier, you are asked to contact Investigator Patrick McCormack at (315) 455-2922.

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