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Police: Boy made up attempted abduction story

12-year-old told police he was chased near Northside elementary school

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police have come forward Tuesday night saying that the 12-year-old boy who claimed to be the victim of an attempted abduction Monday evening made up the story he told police and his parents.

According to police the boy said a tall white man attempted to abduct him after he had gotten off of a school bus following an after school program.

Police said they were originally contacted at 8:04 p.m. and responded to a report of an attempted abduction near the Highlands Elementary School on DePaul Drive.

According to officials, after an exhaustive investigative effort, information was developed and evidence located, including video evidence that police said showed that things did not happen as the boy described.

Investigators said they asked the boy and his family to come into the Police Memorial Building for an additional interview where the boy later admitted that he made up the story so he wouldn't get in trouble with his parents for getting into a fight with another boy earlier that day.

Due to the boy's young age and after reviewing all of the circumstances police said they chose not to arrest the juvenile for filing a false police report.

JSO also came forward saying that they take any allegations of a similar nature very seriously and make every effort to fully investigate any report of that nature.

They also encouraged parents and guardians to use this opportunity to impress upon their children the importance of being aware of their surroundings and being as safe as possible at all times.   

According to Roger Delaney, an instructor at Escape School, there are things that parents and children can do to protect themselves if an attack happens.

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"The biggest thing is to scream and holler and realize that rules don't matter when you're being abducted," Delaney said. 

Delaney has been keeping kids safe for 15 years and he said that he's noticed the increasing number of news reports of children being abducted, attacked and even sexually assaulted.

"An abductor knows the reaction of children, ‘I don't know what to do.' They already know. The abductors are smart but what we need is to be smarter," Delaney said.

And that's why he is one of the instructors of Escape School where he teaches children and their parents to be safe, not scared.

"Number one thing is be aware of your surroundings. Second thing is never be alone, always be with other kids. An abductor is not going to get you if you're with other kids. And be aware of your surroundings. Don't walk in the dark spaces, those kind of things," Delaney said.

Delaney said children also need to stay away from strangers and if a stranger tries to get close to you, stay far away. And if an attacker tries to grab a child, run to the closest person for help and apply the Velcro technique.

"Stick to that person. Grab a hold of them and don't let them get away no matter what they say. Say, 'I need your help. I need your help, I need your help,'" Delaney said.

Delaney said it's his other job that motivates him to protect children and hold his safety classes.

As a funeral home manager he said he's seen too many parents bury their children, which is why he said he holds this subject close to his heart.

"Worst thing we do, the toughest thing that we do at a funeral home, is to bury a child. Our goal is to keep that from ever happening," Delaney said.

Duval County school police and the JSO both had increased presence in the area Tuesday morning. School police also assigned an officer to Highlands Elementary for added support after the report.