By Brandi Makuski
City police say reports of an attempted abduction over the weekend actually turned out to be a concerned motorist checking on an intoxicated pedestrian.
According to Assistant Police Chief Tom Zenner, a social media post alleging a woman was nearly abducted by half a dozen men while out searching for a lost dog early Sunday morning is not just a false claim, but one that grossly exaggerated the actual events.
The post, made by a third party, claims the woman had split from her husband while the two searched for their dog. Then, the post alleges, the woman was surrounded by several men from a suspicious vehicle, who later ran away after she screamed for help.
The post has since been shared over 500 times.
Zenner said police later located the suspicious vehicle but determined it was driven by a female resident of Stevens Point, who saw a female pedestrian who appeared intoxicated and was “stumbling down the sidewalk” near Algoma and Jefferson streets at about 3:37 a.m. on Aug. 12.
The motorist heard a man shouting nearby, Zenner said. Concerned for her safety, she followed her in the vehicle for a brief distance, attempting to communicate with the pedestrian from the car.
As the driver called out, the pedestrian met with a man, who began running at the woman’s car, yelling for her to leave the pedestrian alone.
Zenner said the SPPD can conclusively state that “no attempted sexual assault or attempted kidnapping took place or was planned” in the area that night.
“The suspicious incident was actually a concerned individual displaying the appropriate level of civic responsibility attempted to make contact with a female subject who appeared intoxicated and in distress,” Zenner said. “That concerned citizen was ultimately responsible for law enforcement being notified to respond on the night of the incident.”