Friday, July 19, 2024

Honest mistake leads to innocent man being labeled possible child abductor by police

The incident occurred earlier this month and was reported yesterday.

The Wilmington Police Department said it was concerned about ascertaining the identity of the man who attempted to greet a child on a bus. (Port City Daily photo / file)
The Wilmington Police Department said it was concerned about ascertaining the identity of the man who attempted to greet a child on a bus. (Port City Daily photo / file)

WILMINGTON — The Wilmington Police Department has cleared a man of any wrongdoing after accusing him of the “attempted abduction” of an eight-year-old girl from a school bus on Wednesday.

Police said the man, along with the mother of another student on the bus, came forward after seeing the accusations from police online.

“Following WPD’s call for information from the public, a mother of another child who rides the same school bus came forward and explained to officers she asked her friend, the man pictured, to pick up her daughter from the bus, but failed to inform the child or the school he would be doing so. Both girls have similar names, causing him to inadvertently ask for the wrong child,” according to a WPD press release.

The police are urging caution when changing routines for children especially when someone else will be picking them up.

“While we’re grateful that this was not an attempted abduction, we want to use this opportunity to remind the public of the importance of clear communication. We commend the bus driver for not allowing the child off with someone she did not know. Please make sure your children and the proper authorities are aware of any changes to your normal routines,” the release states.

The department is standing by its decision to put the individual’s photo on social media and responded to questions about its accusations.

“WPD stands by its decision to release the picture of the man involved in this incident. The new information came to light because of our request for help from the public.  When we respond to any incident, we investigate them thoroughly as they are presented, and as more information and facts emerge, the case evolves. In this particular instance, a family and school officials believed this child was being targeted and it is through our due diligence that we determined otherwise,” WPD said in a statement.


 

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