CARMEL, N.Y. - It turns out it was much ado about nothing.
Carmel police located the driver of a pickup truck who was alleged to have attempted to lure young children into his vehicle with the promise of toys and candy and cleared him of any wrongdoing, and, in fact, called him a “Good Samaritan.”
A woman posted on the Mahopac Mom’s Facebook group last week that her 5-year-old daughter had been stopped by a man in a white pickup truck on Friday, Jan. 31, in the vicinity of Route 301 in the hamlet of Carmel and asked her where she lived. The family’s au pair intervened, and the driver told her he was just trying to make sure the girl got home safely.
Later, the girl’s 9-year-old brother told police that he and his friend had been approached by the same man two days earlier but said they ran away when the man offered them toys. They said the man warned them not to tell anyone, or they “wouldn’t live.”
Carmel Police Chief Mike Cazzari said a neighbor’s surveillance video of the truck showed that the vehicle in question was actually gray, not white, as originally reported. Police were not able to verify the boy’s account of the confrontation.
“The evidence did not match [with the accusations],” Cazzari told Mahopac News.
A press release from the Carmel Police Department said that detectives interviewed the driver of the gray pickup truck that was observed on the neighbor’s surveillance video on Jan. 31.
“It was learned that the driver did stop to check that the 5-year-old running in the roadway was OK and drove away after confirming that the child was safe,” the press release stated. “It has been deemed that there is no suspicious or criminal activity at this time. We would like to thank all the concerned citizens that contacted the police with information.”
Carmel PD had been working closely with the Kent Police Department and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office on the case when it was first reported last week.