Police: Child mistook yelling man for kidnapper

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - Southaven Police Department issued a Be On the Lookout (BOLO) alert for a man who they believed tried to kidnap a boy. But, police now say they have investigated and the driver was not trying to kidnap the child.

Police said a 10-year-old came home and said a man stopped his vehicle, opened his door, and yelled for him to get in the truck. The boy ran home and called the police.

But, that's not what police now believe happened.

Investigators said the boy's father was contacted by the man driving the vehicle on Facebook. The man told the father he was speeding down the street and almost ran over the child. He explained he had his window down and yelled for the child to get out of the road.

The report had neighbors on edge for a while.

"I got five daughters from 14-years old to 2 [years-old] and ya' know that kind of stuff scares me," resident Michael Katchens said.

The man told the child's father that the child was frightened when he yelled at him. After the child ran away quickly, he left the area.

"At this time we feel that this was not an attempted kidnapping and are treating it as such. We have interviewed a passenger and the driver and feel comfortable of our findings," Southaven PD said. "What we can learn from this is that we still need to watch our children closely and teach them to react just like this child did and scream and run home and tell his parents what happened. Then, the police can work on it and hopefully get to the bottom of what happened."

Police said they are satisfied with how this turned out for everyone.

"In this case, I am elated because the word got out and the driver recognized that we would be looking for him and came forward to tell his story. Great job for the media and the public," Mark Little said.

The child's family said the boy is OK.

"He is fine. Everything is OK," boy's guardian Chris Olmstead said.

Everyone agrees, despite the misunderstanding, that everyone did what was right in reporting the incident.

"He did right. He did right. He yelled and he ran fast," Olmstead said.

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