JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Deputies in Baker County say a report of an attempted child abduction Friday afternoon was a misunderstanding.
The Baker County Sheriff Joey Dobson told Channel 4 Friday night that deputies were able to find the man in question and determined he was trying to sell the child peanuts.
Investigators said an 11-year-old girl told them that while in the front yard of her home on South Fifth Street about 3:30 p.m., she noticed a white pickup truck, possibly with an extended cab, park across the street near a dentist office.
The girl said an older white man wearing a white shirt with a collar, blue jeans, gray hair on the sides and bald on the top got out of the truck, pointed what appeared to be a black handgun in her direction, and ordered her to come across the street to him.
"This young lady has been able to give us a good description of the vehicle. In fact, she has identified just a few minutes ago what we believe to be the vehicle," said Baker County Sheriff Joey Dobson. "We were able to obtain a video from a business, a couple of homes down from where she lived and we believe we have that vehicle identified as far as the type. It appears to be a '99 to 2003 Ford dulee or a Ford 4-door vehicle, and of course once we get that out then we'll be able to hopefully have some leads that will come back to us on this."
The girl told deputies she immediately ran inside her home a short distance away and called for help. Police say as far as they know, the girl had never seen the man before.
"She walked the same route every day from school, but she, as I said, was already home from school," Dobson said. "She had been in her home and went back out into the yard, so nothing connected to the school other than the fact she had been to school during the day. But we would not know right now whether or not she had ever seen him before, she certainly didn't describe that as knowledge of having seen him before," said Dobson.
Police were able to locate the man based on surveillance pictures of the truck he was riding in. Dobson said deputies questioned the man who told them that he had waved to the girl from his truck in effort to sell her peanuts.
Police praised the 11-year-old girl Friday night for reporting the incident. They said the girl made the right decision by notifying authorities of the encounter.
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