By CBS 2 News
August 15, 2012
An intruder at a Catskills sleep-away camp had parents asking hard questions on Wednesday.
CBS 2’s Lou Young traveled to Sullivan County to find out more about the man who sparked a state police investigation.
He was a stranger in their midst. Campers at Camp Shalva, a Catskills retreat for young Hasidic teens and children, said they woke last week to the alarming sight of a man roaming their sleeping area.
“There was somebody who did not belong in the bunkhouses and they were awakened by the presence of that individual,” camp spokesman David Schars said.
Security cameras caught the images of the intruder inside one of the boys’ dormitories. Young has learned the footage shows the man in a hallway and that he steps out of sight several times for short durations of time.
Examination of the image indicates the man is a registered sex offender who works as a deliveryman for a kosher food service, police said.
His name, Young has learned, is Yoel Oberlander of Monsey and camp directors said he had no reason to be near the dormitory or any of the children staying at the sleep-away camp. The school said it is checking for any evidence of inappropriate physical contact.
“It’s certainly something we can’t rule out given the fact that the perpetrator or alleged perpetrator has an alleged history and was in proximity to children. We would hope and expect that that would be fully investigated,” Schars said.
Sources told Young that Oberlander’s employers at Golden Taste Kosher Foods are discussing his future with the company, although they adamantly refused to talk with Young when he stopped by their Spring Valley offices.
“No comment. I said no comment,” an employee said.
The camp caters almost exclusively to children of Hasidic parents living in Brooklyn.