Cops: Only one 'white van' encounter documented

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A police report obtained Friday painted a clearer picture of the incident that sparked the fears of parents in a pair of Gwinnett subdivisions. Officials also said no specific investigation was being undertaken.

On Thursday, a notice issued by a neighborhood watch program described incidents in the Hedgerows subdivision (in Buford off Camp Branch Road between Ivy Creek and Wallace roads) and the Vanderbilt subdivision (about nine miles away off Level Creek Road) in which men in a white van reportedly asked several children if they needed a ride home.

Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Edwin Ritter said the department has no record of such an incident in Vanderbilt, but provided a report of the April 22 encounter at Hedgerows.

According to the report, an 11-year-old boy was playing in his Black Fox Way driveway when he and two friends were approached by two males.

"He stated a white pickup truck, with red lettering on the side, pulled up his driveway quickly," the incident report said. "He stated there was a driver and a passenger. He advised the passenger said to them, 'Do you guys want a ride home.' The driver reached out of the open window with his hand and said, 'Get in. Let's go.'"

The three youngsters ran to the back of the house and the truck left.

Once police arrived about 25 minutes later, the child described the men in the vehicle as a "larger" Hispanic male with facial hair and a slim, white male with a mustache or goatee. The responding officer then left and located a white pickup truck in the neighborhood's pool area.

The truck, which had a Louisiana license plate, had black and red lettering on the side and a "large box" in the back. The two men in the vehicle matched the boy's general description.

The men said they were part of a food delivery service and had an active business license.

"Both subjects stated that they had only been to two houses in the neighborhood, both located on (a different street)," the officer wrote. " ... The subjects stated they at no time had any contact with children in the neighborhood. They also stated that they had not been in the neighborhood for too long."

Both men reportedly offered to go to their accuser's house to "dispel any allegations," but the boy's mother declined.

Ritter said officers were notified of the encounter, but no investigation was underway.

"Per the victim, this was reported for documentation only and they are not interested in pursuing an investigation," Ritter said. "It's not assigned to any detectives for follow-up. A (bulletin) was sent out to law enforcement only."