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San Ramon Abduction Story A Hoax; Child Recants Tale

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A child who told parents, police and school officials that she had been approached and narrowly escaped abduction by pulling away from a man she said tried to pull her into his van has recanted her story, police said Wednesday.

“During the follow-up investigation, and additional interviews of the alleged victim, some discrepancies were revealed,” San Ramon police said in a prepared release. “Eventually, we learned that the juvenile fabricated an incident that never occurred.”

Numerous men matching the child’s description of her alleged abductor have been contacted by police in the interim hours between the child’s report and her admission to police. San Ramon police said they take every report of an adult annoying a child seriously.

“A reported crime against a child is a top priority,” they wrote. “We have to investigate these situations fully in order to protect our children and community. It’s unfortunate that a scare in the community was raised by this fabricated incident. The San Ramon PD would like to thank those in the community and in law enforcement for information provided in an effort to assist in the investigation.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. I’ll never understand the mindset of a child who makes something like this up. Not enough attention at home? Regardless, it’s very sad. I hope the child gets the help she needs.

    • It’s always a bit of a guessing game. On one hand you want to be responsive as, obviously, bad things have happened to good kids. On the other hand, as we have also mentioned, we don’t want to create a howling mob of villagers based on a misunderstanding or a child’s attempt to gain attention or to explain away a late arrival. We are not saying that happened here. The schools and police did their jobs and the police followed up and gained the truth. It is a shame that some innocent people were unfairly targeted as a result. We are hoping some lessons were learned.

  2. Is this what you meant by calling down the thunder on someone? Amazing that it would happen like this so soon after you write about it. It would be interested to know who many people were contacted by police as a result of this hoax.

    • It is, Dan. We tend to wait just a bit on most of these reports to give them a chance to “shake out.” We’ve been writing for awhile about how reports made in a Post 9-11 world have taken on more weight and have been used to bring police down on innocent people – “SWATing.” We’ve also advised people wait and watch those they suspect of wrongdoing to make sure they are actually doing something wrong. In this case a child’s report brought police down on several innocent men and we have always been aware of that possibility. In this case we were proven right.

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