Suspicious Men At School Bus Stops Cases Are "Misunderstandings"

It turns out that cases of suspicious men at school bus stops in two Eastern Carolina counties were both misunderstandings.

Wayne County authorities say they located the man who reportedly approached children at two school bus stops Tuesday morning. Their investigation shows the man had no criminal intent and it was alla misunderstanding.

The same thing happened Thursday morning in Carteret County. In that case an overly friendly newspaper delivery man was speaking to two young brothers at a school bus stop on Harkers Island.

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Deputies in Carteret County say the case of a suspicious man trying to get two brothers in his car Thursday morning was a misunderstanding.

Deputies say it turned out to be an overly friendly newspaper delivery driver who was asking if the boys were ready to go to school.

The man told deputies that he did not say or make any actions as to lure the kids in his vehicle. When the man was approached by the mothe, he said he tried to explain he was just trying to be friendly.

Deputies say Thursday afternoon all of those involved were interviewed and determined it was all a misunderstanding.

Although most people know each other in the small community, deputies say the mother just moved to Carteret County and did not know the delivery driver.

Authorities in two counties say suspicious men have approached young children waiting for school buses this week.

The latest happened Thursday morning on Harkers Island in Carteret County. Deputies say 8 and 9-year-old brothers were waiting for their school bus at the end of their driveway on Branch Drive when a man pulled up and asked them if they were "ready" and to "get in the car". The mother saw what was happening, yelled out at the man and he sped away.

The vehicle was a 4-door older maroon car with no hubcaps on the driver's side. It was described as "junky". The driver was a white man in his late 30's to early 40's with dark hair and some facial hair.

The other cases happened in Wayne County Tuesday morning.

Deputies say in two cases that man tried to get children into his car while they were at a school bus stop in the 3000 block of Stevens Mill Road.

Sheriff Carey Winders says they're not sure of the man's intentions, but they would certainly like to talk with him.

Deputies say the vehicle was navy blue, possible a Trailblazer. It had a wheelchair lift mounted on the back and a handicap placard on the rear view mirror. The driver was a white man, 40 to 50 years old with gray hair on top and a brown pony tail.

Authorities do not believe the Carteret and Wayne County cases are connected.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Cactus Location: Strabane on Aug 28, 2009 at 04:40 PM
    I love kids, like talking to them, they make more sense than adults. How ever I no longer try to converse with them or befriend them for fear of being arrested. Our country is in a sorry state.
  • by SassyMom Location: Wayne Co. on Aug 28, 2009 at 09:47 AM
    Yes, it is a shame that friendliness can be mistaken for ill intentions. HOWEVER, why put yourself in a situation where you may have to explain yourself. A simple wave or smile would have been just fine. There are WAY too many children being kidnapped, raped and murdered in this country for us to let our guards down as parents. If we don't protect them, who will? It wasn't 2 miles up the road from my home that a little girl was kidnapped, raped, murdered, dismembered, put in a trash bag and thrown under a bridge. And all she was doing was playing on the "kind neighbors" swingset. There are evil people in this world and evil should be destroyed. My husband and I are very friendly people and we teach our son to be kind to others. BUT, we don't put ourselves in situations, as adults, that may be misinterpreted. If this man meant no harm, that's great. But what business did he have trying to get young children to get in his car? Absolutely none!!!
  • by Stephen on Aug 28, 2009 at 08:21 AM
    It's a shame how things have changed to the point where you can't be friendly anymore. I do understand why, with all the crime and predators that are out there today. I remember growing up in a small rural town in NC and you knew pretty much everyone. If someone you didn't know came up to chat, it was to get to know you, no to do anything harmful. You could also sleep with your doors unlocked...and i'm only 31. Things have changed in a hurry and NOT for the better.
  • by Scott Location: Williamston on Aug 28, 2009 at 08:21 AM
    Better safe than sorry. All one has to do is watch one of those "true crime" shows on A&E to make your stomach turn. One of the major national headlines right now is about the woman who was kidnapped when she was 11, almost 20 years ago. Adults who want to be "friendly" with seemingly benign intentions should understand about these things, excercise some common sense, and maintain some boundaries, if for no other reason than to avoid seeming suspicious. Although the media coverage makes it seem that abductions are more common and frequent than they really are, still they are happening nationwide at an alarming rate. The things that these perverts do to their victims is...
  • by Kelly Location: Jacksonville on Aug 28, 2009 at 06:03 AM
    I agree with the first comment. I wouldn't want any stranger, no matter how "friendly" they were trying to be speaking to my children! A nice wave is friendly enough if you're a stranger and then move on. It may have been a misunderstanding with this guy, but sadly often it's not and how are kids suppose to tell the difference?
  • by Ted Location: Greenville on Aug 28, 2009 at 06:02 AM
    I wonder who this "man" is. He's not identified in the story could it be he has political connections? I can't imagine why in today’s world anyone would stop to be "friendly" with two kids they did not know who were waiting for the bus. I think this explanation sounds a little suspicious. To prevent any further misunderstandings, at least around my house if I perceive you may be a threat to my daughter very, very bad things will likely happen to you. Just FYI.
  • by Anonymous Location: new bern on Aug 27, 2009 at 09:23 PM
    misunderstanding or not i dont blame the mother for being suspicious of the driver with everything going on and all the kids going missing i dont blame her at all
  • by What?? Location: Washington, NC on Aug 27, 2009 at 03:44 PM
    Hmmm, I look at this and wonder if the people posting that they would have a gun to answer to would have shot the guy for being friendly. Innocent until proven guilty people. I talk to many children that I see. It is because I have a child of my own. Should I worry about being shot too?
  • by Cindi Location: Simpson on Aug 27, 2009 at 12:40 PM
    Maybe the kids are trying to tell the parents they DO NOT care to ride the bus!Somehow I just don't believe the first story.But the description of the second vehicle makes it more believable.
  • by Linda on Aug 27, 2009 at 12:29 PM
    I can't beleive this happened on Harkers Island!!
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