An early morning case of mistaken identity between a taxi driver and two juveniles on their way to school had King County Sheriff Deputies on high alert and investigating a possible attempted abduction. After a lot of good work in a quick amount of time, it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.
On May 17th, 2016, administrators at a Covington elementary school called the King County Sheriff’s office to report that a 2nd grader had been approached and offered a ride by and unknown man as the student walked to school. The incident was witnessed by another child not far behind.
When Deputies from Covington arrived and spoke further with school staff and the involved students, they learned that the two had been walking separately to school when a car they described as a small, yellow, taxi, stopped in the road next to one of them. The man driving the taxi got out of his car, stood by the driver side door, and asked one of the children if he was ok and if he needed a ride. The child said no thank you and the man got back into the taxi and drove away, having no further contact with either child. The two 2nd graders then walked the rest of the way to school together.
Once at the school, the students told staff members and the staff acted correctly by calling the police immediately upon hearing about the incident. Covington Deputies quickly began investigating and planning for extra patrols in the area before and after school. School administration also sent notification to families from the school about the incident.
During their investigation, Covington Deputies were able to get information from the school as well as other parents in the area, that a family had just moved to the neighborhood into a house not far from where this incident occurred and that the daughter was being picked up and dropped off by a taxi everyday so she could finish the school year in Renton. Deputies were able to confirm all of this information with the father of the girl that was supposed to be getting the ride. They were also able to confirm with a taxi company and through GPS that it was their taxi in the area that morning and that they had sent a new driver who was not familiar with the girl he was supposed to be picking up.