Man accused of offering $40 to teen for sex at lemonade stand
Pal Rakaj in court with his attorney.
Macomb Township bystanders came to the aid of a young girl trying to get away from a stranger.
Prosecutors say Pal Rakaj offered a 14-year-old girl $40 for sex while the she was working at her lemonade stand during a garage sale at 1 p.m. Friday.
Rakaj, 67, was charged with accosting a minor for immoral purposes in a Macomb Township subdivision near 21 mile and Garfield.
"He got out of his car and went over and asked the girl for sex," said neighbor Kathy Kalinowski. "He had money in the car and he wanted her to go in the car.
"I was surprised he would have attempted something like that with all the people around."
Neighbors say a Good Samaritan near the garage sale saw something suspicious and sprang into action, blocking Rakaj as he tried to leave the area. Witnesses in other cars joined in, blocking him in as well.
"He saw what happened and pulled in front of the van to stop the gentleman from leaving," said witness Tom Jager. "I thought it was pretty noble. I'm not sure how many people would do that."
Then deputies arrived from the Macomb County Sheriff's Department, handcuffing and arresting him.
Rakaj was arrested and given a $100,000 bond. In court Monday he said that he doesn't speak English and his attorney asked for an Albanian translator.
Investigators say there have been similar incidents in the community recently and are trying to determine if Rakaj was involved.
Rakaj and his attorney declined comment. The suspect's house is a five minute drive from the scene of Friday's alleged crime.
He remains free on bond, but was ordered to surrender his passport and get a GPS tether. He is not allowed to have any contact with children but is allowed to stay in his home, which he shares with his six-month-old grandson and 1-year-old grandson.