Braintree police say a school program that teachers children about threats from strangers may have helped a 9-year-old girl avoid trouble on Monday afternoon.
According to police, the victim said she was standing at the end of her driveway on Hoover Avenue, when a man approached her and asked for help finding his dog.
The girl walked back toward her house and the man followed her, police said. That’s when the girl yelled out "stranger danger" and ran up her back stairs. The man then ran off into the woods.
Officers searched the area, including a nearby golf course, and later went to the home of a Braintree man whom they knew and who fit the suspect’s description. A canine unit was deployed to track the suspect and led officers to that man's house.
The man, whose name has not been released, was questioned and denied being out. However, according to police, clothing described by the victim was located in the man’s bedroom.
When shown a photograph of the man, the victim said he was the person who approached her.
Officers are investigating the man as a possible suspect in this incident, police said.
“Once again, the correct actions were taken by a young person approached by an adult,” Deputy Chief Russell Jenkins said in a release. “This young girl, who recently received ‘Stranger Danger’ training in school, ran from the suspect, yelled to call attention to herself, and told an adult of the encounter. Parents would be wise to use this as a teaching point for their young children.”