While 15 year old Max Wagner (‘19) was on his way to school at 6:17am on Friday, December 2nd, he was approached by a man in a vehicle asking if he wanted a ride to school. Wagner lives on Evans Road and was approached on Perkins Road, approximately 0.3 miles from Oyster River High School.
WMUR covered the story with the headline; “Police investigate after boy reports suspicious man in Madbury” and the OR school district sent out an email explaining the events and cautioning students and parents.
Wagner’s mom, Lisa Wagner, posted about the incident on Facebook at 7am that morning, warning other parents as they send their kids to school.
Wagner shared the events of his morning saying, “I couldn’t hear anything because of my earbuds, I realized that to the right of me (coming from the same direction I was) headlights were pulling up next to me. I just assumed that this person was slowing down because of the turn, but then I realized they were stopping so I took one of my earbuds out. A tall and skinny old man with grey, longish hair, a maroon t-shirt with a jean jacket on rolled down his window. He said in a very calm but firm voice ‘do you want a ride?’ at that moment I knew some [explicit] was up so I said ‘No.’ He responded by commanding me to ‘get in’ so I started running back down the way I came.”
The OR School District was on high alert and the Durham police started an investigation to try and find who this man was and what he wanted.
James Morse sent out an email five days after the event with a report from the police stating: “The Madbury Police Department has concluded its investigation. Madbury Police Chief McGann wants you to know that there was a ‘clear misunderstanding and there was no criminal intent’ of the individual who approached the student.”
Morse stresses that the safety of the students here is important but believes the story has been altered by rumors. Any further questions can be answered directly by Morse.
Written by Betsy Larson