Laurel Police are now saying an incident they reported as the attempted abduction of an 11-year-old boy at a bus stop was not an abduction attempt after all, but was a “misunderstanding,” after two men discussed the incident with police on Friday, Aug. 31.
The men told police they read a description of the incident in the Aug. 30 Laurel Leader, which reported that on Aug. 22 two men in a work van had offered a toy truck to an 11-year-old middle school student who was waiting alone at his bus stop at Arbory Court and Van Dusen Road. Police reported that one man left the truck and slowly approached the boy, continuing to offer the toy, and the boy fled and contacted his parents. Witnesses told police they had seen the van picking up scrap in the neighborhood just prior to when the boy was approached.
The men told Laurel Police they realized they were the two men described in the incident.
Laurel Police released a statement Sunday that said the “intentions of the two individuals when they offered the toy to the child victim were innocent.”
In the statement, police said the men are scrap collectors who found the toy motorcycle, in good condition, and “not wanting the toy to go to waste,” offered it to the boy. The men told police that when the boy fled, they assumed he had not understood their offer of the toy because of a language barrier.
Police said they advised the men to not approach children in public, to avoid such misunderstandings.