The boy, 12, had told Perkins police a man driving a white car approached him at about 7:30 p.m. Aug. 26, as he was walking in the 200 block of Schiller Ave. He said the man asked him multiple times if he wanted a puppy, which prompted him to report the encounter to his grandmother.
The family called police, launching a days-long investigation into a suspected abduction attempt. The investigation played out last week without resolve because the suspect — he’s no longer a suspect, of course — was arrested and jailed in an unrelated domestic violence case, Perkins police Chief Ken Klamar said.
Police had no idea the 43-year-old Oakland Avenue man had any involvement in the puppyoffering incident. The man had no idea either, and he didn’t find out about the abduction report until he was released from a jail a few days later, Klamar said.
”He didn’t even know this was going on,” Klamar said.
When the man caught wind of the abduction report, he immediately went to police. “He said, ‘I’m the guy with the puppy,’” Klamar said. “Sure enough, it was him.”
The man had been friends with the boy’s father, who died not long ago, Klamar said. When the boy’s mother looked into buying the boy a dog, the man told her he could help her out. He exchanged some text messages with the mother about a month ago, Klamar said.
”He even had the old messages still, regarding the puppy,” Klamar said. “(The mother) had been talking with this guy through texts, Facebook.”
On Aug. 26, the man dropped his children off down the street, then saw the 12-year-old boy walking in the area, Klamar said.
When he stopped to talk to the boy, “the kid didn’t recognize him,” Klamar said. The mother, meanwhile, forgot she talked to the man about a dog.
”It was a few weeks ago,” Klamar said. “She didn’t put two and two together. It didn’t pop into her head.”