Deputies: Driver who approached boy at school bus stop determined to be ‘innocent misunderstanding’

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — Lake County deputies said a suspicious incident involving an East Ridge Middle School student waiting for a bus was an “innocent misunderstanding.”


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Deputies said the 12-year-old was waiting for the bus on Third Avenue at around 8:30 a.m. Oct 20, when a man in a silver SUV called his name and told him to get in.

See map of area below:

The boy ran to a nearby home, where he called his mom while a neighbor dialed 911.

Investigators later released a surveillance picture of an SUV they believed to have been involved in the incident.

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Detectives were later able to identify the driver of the SUV, who told them he was a driver for Lyft.

The driver told investigators he was in the neighborhood that morning to pick up a customer when he saw the boy.

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Detectives said the misunderstanding arose when the driver pulled over to ask the boy his name, which happened to be the same name as the person who requested the ride.

Deputies said they could verify the driver’s story about the customer requesting the ride.

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Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.