UPDATE: Driver who asked child to stay warm in his truck did not have ill intentions, says CSPD
Police say a suspected "stranger danger" incident appears to have been a misunderstanding.
Detectives asked the public Wednesday to be on the lookout for the driver of a red pickup truck who had asked an elementary-aged child to climb into his vehicle to warm up. The child had been outside her home near Research and Powers Tuesday evening playing in the snow when the driver pulled up and asked if she wanted to get in his vehicle to warm up.
"It was an unusual circumstance," said Lt. James Sokolik. "We had a juvenile female outside in her yard playing in the snow and had a red pickup truck with a topper go by a couple times and stop and ask her, ‘It’s cold, do you want to get in my car?’"
The child yelled "no" and ran back into her house.
Thursday, police said they located the driver.
"The person was fully cooperative and explained that he is a nearby neighbor who genuinely believed the young girl was locked out of her home. Detectives completed a thorough investigation and do not believe there was ill intent or that there is an immediate threat to the community," the police department wrote in an update on social media.
Police said the case still serves as a good teaching moment, not only for families but for people in the public who may not realize how their actions are construed.
"The incident serves as an important reminder for parents to talk and educate their children on stranger danger, as well as a reminder for community members to act appropriately. If you believe a child is in danger, try to contact their parents or immediately call the police," the police department said.
Sokolik said the girl did exactly what she should have done.
"The child involved did a great job of not getting in the vehicle, not approaching the vehicle. Saying ‘no’ and going back into the house ... that’s exactly what she should’ve done and exactly what we want parents to talk to their children about doing," Sokolik said.