Bennington Police Officer David Faden said Wednesday he had investigated an incident in which an 11-year-old female student at Mount Anthony Union Middle School got on the wrong bus to go home, got confused, and got off at the wrong stop. As she was walking home on Route 7A near Houghton Lane, an elderly man pulled up beside her, said something, and reached in her direction.
The girl did not get in the car, and the man drove off when a bus carrying high school students came upon them and that bus driver secured the upset child.
Police had sought the man for questioning.
Faden said the man came to the Bennington Police Department on Friday after reading about the incident in the Banner and realizing it was him being referred to. Faden said the man has relatives in that area and thought the child was his granddaughter. He told police he went to open his car door for her, but realized his mistake then told the girl she wasn't who he thought she was. The man then drove off, not having seen the bus come up behind him.
According to Faden the man has no criminal history of any kind.
"He was worried, he didn't want anyone to think he was a bad guy," said Faden. "It turned out really well. This was the best-case scenario."
Police did not release the man's name.
On Thursday, Southwestern Supervisory Union Superintendent Catherine McClure said that in the first days of school teachers work to educate students on the bus schedules, matching bus numbers to their respective routes. Despite this there is sometimes confusion, she said.