CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – A homeless man is under arrest, charged with kidnapping two young girls in Cambridge on Wednesday night.
Police believe 52-year-old Lionel Brathwaite, Jr. – a Level 3 sex offender – approached two sisters as they were walking home from school along Pleasant Street, grabbed one of them by the arm and forced them to walk down several streets in Cambridge.READ MORE: Sticker Shock: Travelers Stunned By Rising Costs Of Renting A Car
Brathwaite allegedly asked the pair if they wanted to walk down an alley, and when they declined, the two were able to escape and run home.
Cambridge residents tell us they’re relieved the sisters are safe, but they’re still concerned.
“I’m happy they were able to be found, but obviously we don’t want that to happen again,” said resident Spencer Greer.READ MORE: Mother, Son Found Safe After Amber Alert In New Hampshire
“Down Central Square, sometimes late night, you’ll see the homeless… but it’s Boston and Cambridge. You see things like that, but not kidnapping or any crazy stuff,” said Ayoub Snouti, who works in nearby Harvard Square.
Those who live and work nearby tell us they’re happy to learn the girls are safe but say more can be done to prevent this from happening again.
“If we’re able to reinvest our resources into better lighting and our community as a whole,” said Greer, “I think it’ll be able to help us.”MORE NEWS: Experts Warn Delta Variant Could Make Unvaccinated Communities 'Look Like Last Winter'
Level 3 sex offenders are those who are considered to have a high risk of re-offending and who pose a high degree of danger to the public, according to the state of Massachusetts.