South Jeffco attempted kidnapping incident a misunderstanding

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By Corinne Westeman

The Jeffco Sheriff's Office has determined there was no-ill intent in a reported attempted kidnapping of a young boy on Tuesday.
According to sheriff's spokeswoman Jenny Fulton, around 5:15 p.m. on Jan. 2, an 11-year-old boy was walking home from a martial arts class at a shopping center near West Chatfield Avenue and South Kipling Parkway.
A father of a fellow martial arts classmate offered him a ride home, Fulton detailed, however, the boy didn't recognize the man and refused.
The man, who has since been identified by law enforcement, told him he'd seen the boy before and again offered to give him a ride. The boy refused again and ran home from the shopping center.
"(The boy) did the right thing," Fulton said. "He did what we tell our kids to do when strangers offer them rides, which is to run away."
The Jeffco Sheriff's Office posted details of the reported incident on social media, including a physical description and sketch of the man involved, and he called the Sheriff's Office and clarified the misunderstanding.
"It was innocent," she said of the incident. "... (The man) was just legitimately offering the boy a ride home, and the boy got scared because he didn't recognize him and thought he was a stranger."
The office's social media post on the initial incident drew more than 100,000 views, so there was substantial community interest, Fulton said.
"We do encourage kids to do what this boy did, which is to refuse rides from strangers, draw attention to themselves if they can't get away or, if they can, run away," she continued.

Contact reporter Corinne Westeman at 303-350-1043 or cwesteman@evergreenco.com, and follow her on Twitter @cwesteman.