Deputies say suspicious incident in North Naples is a misunderstanding

Posted at 6:27 PM, Jul 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-07 18:27:48-04

A report of a suspicious incident involving juveniles who say a strange man asked them if they wanted a ride has been deemed a misunderstanding by the Collier County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies responded to Ashbury Way on Thursday evening, following a call of a suspicious man who approached several girls in a car. The girls, ages 8 through 10, told their parents and deputies that the man asked them if they needed a ride before they fled.

After hearing of the suspicious incident, a woman who had called for an Uber ride alerted deputies that the man was an Uber driver who was looking for her. Deputies have determined that no crime took place.

Lazaro Figueroa, a neighbor on Ashbury Way who knows the girls who said they were approached, said that the incident has him feeling more security-conscious for his family and the neighborhood.

"I think we might consider putting in a camera just in case, and making sure that one of the adults is out at all times," Figueroa said.

The sheriff's office said in a release that the girls acted correctly in the face of a potential threat, and that it's a good reminder for kids never to accept rides from strangers. The release also advises that if somebody does grab a child, to scream, jerk free and run. Also, never walk or play outside alone, and learn about how to call 911 for help.