Police say Independence stranger danger incident was just local mom trying to help

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Police said an alleged stranger danger incident that occurred Tuesday in Independence was simply a mother attempting to help a child walking alone, and that no criminal activity occurred.

Parents at one Independence elementary school were asked to keep a close eye on their children when they went to school on Wednesday, until the woman contacted the school district an police to explain her intentions.

A couple of young students at  Glendale Elementary said they were followed as they walked home from school on Tuesday, and it raised concern with the principal, who sent an audio message to parents Tuesday night.

“I wanted to reach out to encourage you to be extra vigilant in keeping an eye on your student as you send them to school tomorrow, the message said. "I spoke with two parents who are filing a police report tonight about strange activity of a car following a group of students and approaching them as they walked home from Glendale today.”

Officer John Syme with Independence Police Department released a statement saying the woman had contacted after hearing about the warnings. She said she saw a child crying while walking down the road with a few other children.

"Relying on her motherly instincts and fearing that the child was being bullied and needed assistance, she asked the child if she could walk with him. The child told her yes, so she walked behind him for a short while until he met up with another child and appeared to no longer need any help," the statement said.

The incident happened at 28th and East Cogan Drive – about a half mile from the school.

"According to her, she had no ill intent and was only trying to help the child. It turns out that this alleged strange activity was merely a concerned mother of several children trying to help a young child who she believed needed some assistance," the statement said.

But the fact that the woman in the car approached the students and made them feel threatened was enough for the principal to warn all parents about it.

While the incident turned out to be a misunderstanding, police still encourage people to be vigilant and report any activity that seems suspicious or makes you feel threatened.