'Kidnapper' was good samaritan


A Carterton schoolgirl had a kidnapping scare when she was approached by a man wearing black clothing and a mask on Wednesday morning.

According to police, the man saw the girl, 9, struggling with her bike crossing a pedestrian crossing and thought she was at risk of getting run over, so got out of his car to help her.

Senior Sergeant Warwick Burr said the man works in the food industry and was dressed in his work uniform, which included a white mask to prevent him breathing over food.

"The girl saw this and, thinking the worst, ran off, went to school and told her teacher and police were alerted.

"We were fortunate enough to be able to track the person down pretty quickly and establish that that was in fact the story, that he'd just hopped out to help her and that the reason that he was dressed the way he was was because of his occupation," Mr Burr said.

Police were pleased that the girl told school staff, Mr Burr said.

"She obviously did all the right things and we would sooner check things like this out and find that they're purely innocent than be dealing with something way more serious.

"Police are also impressed, in this day and age, that people still care enough to try and help kids that look like they are having difficulty, and it's just unfortunate that there was some confusion in the man's good intent," Mr Burr said.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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