Hingham police are investigating a report of suspicious activity involving an 8-year-old boy at a bus stop this morning.
According to an EMAS alert from the Hingham Police website, a man in a vehicle allegedly approach a boy walking to a bus stop at around 7:30 a.m. and asked if he wanted a ride to school.
Police said that the child, who is eight years old, had been told by his mother to go to the bus stop and that she would meet him there.
While on his way, near the stop at Bradley Park Drive and Harbor View Drive, the man allegedly stopped his car and rolled down the window, saying “Hey bud, do you want a ride to school?”
The child did not know or recognize the man and said no, police said. The man then drove away. The vehicle left the neighborhood onto Thaxter Street in an unknown direction.
The child’s mother soon arrived at the stop and the child told her what had occurred. The mother, thinking it was a neighbor, went home and sent out several emails asking if any of them had talked to her son, police said.
After being unable to confirm that the suspect was someone she knew, she called police.
Police said that the child described the vehicle as a white or yellow “older” model car, similar to a van, but shorter – possibly a station wagon.
The car had three windows on the side and the driver’s side was damaged on the lower panel between the two tires.
The driver is described as a white male in his mid-20s with blackish-brown short hair and wearing a gray shirt.
According to Superintendent Dorothy Galo, Hingham’s Elementary Schools forwarded the police alert to parents, and again brings up the question of how to approach this topic with youngsters.
“Making a decision about how much you say to younger children for fear of frightening them is always a decision parents have to make. We don’t know enough about this situation to know if it was a real threat or less than that, but you err on the side of caution always,” Galo said.
Hingham Police Sergeant Steven Dearth also stressed that the driver may not have had any malicious intent when he approached the child.
“We have an investigation going on, but we’re not certain whether there is any criminal intent here or not,” Dearth said.
According to Dearth, there was a similar incident a year and a half ago on Liberty Road, when an older man approached a young girl who was walking her dog.
Police later discovered that the man just had a similar type of dog and approached her to talk. The man was cleared of any criminal intent.
Police ask that if a similar situation occurred here, that the driver contact Hingham Police.
Neighbors are also encouraged to report any information they may have about the incident.
So far today, some neighbors have made calls about cars driving in the area, but police do not have any leads.