SOUTHPORT, Ind. – Police are looking for a man who tried luring two young boys near a park. Around 7 p.m. on Monday, Owen and Landen were on their way home from Southport park. The boys told police a stranger pulled up next to them.
“I was just like scared and creeped out,” said Landen.
The two 10-year-olds were riding their bikes. They say the man stopped and yelled something at them.
“This person in a white truck said, ‘Hey kids, get in,’” said Owen.
Owen and Landen are friends. The boys’ parents asked FOX 59 not to show their face or release their last names. They wanted to share what happened to warn other kids and adults to be careful.
“The audacity of the person to do it here,” a victim’s father.
Southport Park is the city’s most popular park and it’s located right next to where the former police department was located. It just moved into a new building days ago, which makes this an even riskier move for this stranger.
“Unfortunately, you can’t say those kinds of things nowadays, even if you were kidding. We’re not going to take it as a joke. We are going to track you down and interview you and we’re going to find out what your intentions really were,” said Chief Tom Vaughn.
Thankfully the boys didn’t listen to the stranger. They didn’t even say a word to him.
“We were like scared, really scared. We just thought 'run back to the house, go as fast as you can,'” said Owen.
“Both of them did what they had been taught to do and took off running, no if’s, and’s, or but’s,” the father said.
As soon as the boys got home, they told a relative about what happened. The grown-up called 911. Police want parents to use this dangerous encounter as a reminder to talk with your kids about strangers.
“The kids did exactly what they were supposed to do and like I said, if this was someone trying to abduct kids they protect themselves and they did the right thing,” Chief Vaughn explained.
Police have increased patrols around the park. Officers are checking with nearby businesses to see if surveillance cameras captured anything that could possibly be a clue.