Police were asked to conduct extra patrols near one Great Bend school after two strangers in a car gave a boy a ride home Tuesday afternoon.
Lt. Bill Browne at the Great Bend Police Department said officers wrote up a "miscellaneous case" report to document the incident, but their investigation did not show any crime was committed. The man and woman may have been two Good Samaritans, concerned to see a child walking in the cold near Park Elementary School. "They didn’t try to abduct the child; they didn’t try to lure him into the car," Browne said.
However, it’s a good idea to teach children not to accept rides from strangers, and in this day and age it’s a good idea for helpful adults to be cautious, too. Browne said he wouldn’t hesitate to give a child a ride home on a bitter cold day if he was in uniform. Out of uniform, he said, "I would probably call 911."
Websites such as mychildsafety.net advise parents to teach kids not to get in vehicles with people they don’t know. Other tips: "If your child walks home on their own from school, make sure they do it in pairs or groups. Never allow your child to walk home alone. Also make sure that your child always takes the same path or route home. Tell them they can not change their route or plans without calling to notify you first."