An elderly man who reportedly offered rides and dollar bills to children as he drove around the streets of Mason County has been identified and was acting with "no sinister intent," according to Mason County Chief Deputy Dean Byrd.
Three incidents were reported to the Mason County Sheriff’s Office in recent weeks involving a man “who was driving around Mason County, providing minor children with rides as well as giving out dollar bills to minors,” a news release states.
Concerned residents observed the man, obtained his license plate number and contacted authorities.
Investigating sheriff’s detectives contacted the suspect, a 72-year-old man with no criminal history. “The man told investigators he did drive around the county in his black Dodge Ram pickup truck or his black Dodge PT Cruiser, offering rides to anyone, youth or adult, as well as giving children dollar bills,” the news release states. “The man admitted to being in the Matlock area rewarding children for playing nicely, and being in the Grapeview area providing rides to people standing in the rain who looked like they needed a ride.”
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Byrd said Tuesday that sheriff’s detectives admonished the man and told him to stop his activities. The man said he meant no harm and would stop, Byrd said.
The results of the investigation will be forwarded to the Mason County prosecuting attorney for further review, but Byrd said he does not expect criminal charges to be filed.
“Our investigators are pretty satisfied with his answers,” he said. “The investigators really do think this is something we can take at face value.”
According to the news release, “Investigators say they think this was simply a case of an elderly man trying to do good deeds in the community.”
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465 firstname.lastname@example.org