Local attempted kidnapping case draws national notice

CONNIE JENKINS, The Saratogian

The attempted kidnapping of a Saratoga Springs High School senior
attracted national attention twice this week.

A photo of suspect John F. Regan taken by Saratogian Chief Photographer
Rick Gargiulo appeared Monday in The New York Times. Tuesday night,
Saratogian reporter Jim Kinney discussed the case on CNN’s Nancy Grace

Kinney, who has covered county news and major crimes for The Saratogian
since 1997, has reported on the attempted abduction since it happened
Oct. 31. In the latest news, a grand jury on Monday indicted Regan on
charges of attempted kidnapping.

Regan, 49, of Waterbury, Conn., is accused of trying to drag a
17-year-old girl into his van as she walked across a Saratoga Springs
High School parking lot after cross country practice. The victim, whose
name The Saratogian has not released, shouted and fought her way out of
his grasp. A teacher confronted Regan, and coach Art Kranick followed him
to Beekman Street, where he was arrested without incident.

At the time, Regan was free on bail pending charges of kidnapping and
attempted sexual assault in Connecticut. One charge relates to a 1993
case, while the other is from 2004.

On the Nancy Grace show Tuesday night, it was noted that police in three
states are reviewing unsolved sex and murder cases going back to the
1980s to see if Regan could have been involved. Waterbury Police Chief
Neil O’Leary and others commented that while he must be presumed
innocent, he could be a serial killer/serial rapist.

‘He’s the classic case of a double life,’ O’Leary said on CNN.

Regan’s travel records are being researched, and his home computer has
been seized for examination. His home and his parents’ home were
searched, the police chief said.

Connecticut police have reported that Regan had a tarp, a rope tied into
a slipknot and other items they deemed ‘suspicious’ in his van in
Saratoga Springs. His attorney, E. Stewart Jones of Troy, has said that
Regan’s actions at the high school were misunderstood.

Shortly after his arrest, Regan tried to hang himself in Saratoga County
Jail. He is being held without bail at a maximum-security psychiatric
facility near Utica. Authorities expect to arraign him in early December.

In addition to Kinney, Grace talked with a Connecticut television
reporter, a criminal profiler, a psychotherapist, police, two defense
attorneys and one of Regan’s neighbors. The neighbor said he was a ‘nice
person who always helped his parents.’

Also, file footage of Regan’s Saratoga Springs court appearance in early
November and of Saratoga County Sheriff James Bowen were shown.

©The Saratogian 2005

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