After dozens of officers and the sheriff's helicopter scoured a Buffalo neighborhood for hours Friday afternoon, looking for a 5- or 6-year-old boy, Buffalo Police now say that alleged abduction was a “hoax.”
They say a 6th grader at Futures Preparatory Academy reported a man forcibly took a young boy she was walking to the bus on Orange Street around 2:40 p.m. Friday.
Police say they saw surveillance video of the girl get on and off the bus but in the area where she said the abduction took place didn't have good camera coverage.
At this point, they're not sure why the girl made the allegations.
"As a parent, if this was my kid’s school, I’d expect to see the 50 or so policemen that we have here doing what they do,” said Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo. “It's an unfortunate situation, thankfully no one is hurt, thankfully no officers got hurt in this, but we need to get to the bottom of it.”
Gretchen Szymanski, director of Clinical Services at Child and Family Services, says teachers and parents should take a restorative approach when talking to the 6th grader about this incident.
"Everybody makes choices. There's a ripple effect to their choices. Make sure she understands the impact to the community, to the other students, other family members, the fear that this created, and how her behavior impacted other people," Szymanski explained.
The girl will not be charged criminally but there still isn't word on how the district will be handling the situation. They did not immediately return a request for comment.