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Police suspend search in suspected luring, say man knew Saddle Brook High School track runner

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

UPDATE: Saddle Brook police called off the search for a driver who shouted to a high school track runner after discovering that the 29-year-old man is an acquaintance of the girl’s father.

“The girl didn’t recognize the driver and therefore didn’t know who he was at the time,” Saddle Brook Police Chief Robert Kugler told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.

“It is verified that he did engage the girl in conversation from the vehicle from a distance,” Kugler said, “but it is unverified that he actually said ‘Get in the car.’

“We close the case out as a misunderstanding,” the chief said, “but we do need to remind adults to be mindful of remarks that they may shout out to minors, especially from moving cars.”

Police from three agencies initially sought the driver following the incident involving the 17-year-old Saddle Brook High School runner yesterday morning.

The teen told police she was jogging through Saddle River County Park with her SBHS track team and their coach up ahead of her when the driver slowed down as she ran on Railroad Avenue into Rochelle Park.

He shouted something, she said, but she kept on running.

But he persisted.

“Hey, I know you,” he yelled. “Why don’t you get in?”

At this point, the girl broke into a sprint, Kugler said.

“She caught up to her coach and the remaining team members and told the coach what happened,” the chief said. “He immediately called it in.”

The driver eventually parked on the Rochelle Park side of the county park and took what police believe was a small Yorkie for a short walk.

That’s when the cellphone shot was taken, Kugler said.

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