PROVO A young boy who ran away from what might have become a kidnapping did exactly what his parents had taught him.
"We want our children to be safe," said the boy's father, who asked not to be named, as his family is still shaken up by the event. "We've talked a lot about stranger danger ... here's what you do if you run into somebody you're not familiar with. He put that very well into reality, and that saved his life."
The 10-year-old boy was walking home from Lakeview Elementary at 2899 W. 1390 North in Provo Tuesday about 3:10 p.m. when a man in a truck called to him, said Provo Police Capt. Cliff Argyle.
The truck was parked in the area of 2770 W. 1000 North, and as the boy passed by, the man rolled down the window and told the boy that the boy's mother was in the hospital and that he needed to come with him.
The boy didn't recognize the man, with dark skin and short, curly black hair, and the boy didn't believe his hospital story, Argyle said.
So the boy ran the rest of the way home and told his mother what had happened. She immediately called police.
The boy's father said his son was frantic and crying as he told his mother that he believed the man was trying to kidnap him.
Police responded and searched the area but couldn't locate the blue truck or the man, believed to have a Spanish accent, black mustache and an earring in the right ear.
Anyone with information is asked to call the investigating detective at 852-7294 or Provo dispatch at 852-6210.
Going back to fifth grade on Wednesday was a little scary for the boy, his father said, so to eliminate some concern, his parents drove him to and from school.
But along with being nervous, he was also a bit excited, the boy's father said.
"He felt like he did something heroic, which he did," the father said. "I'm very, very proud of him. He put everything into reality as we taught him."
The boy's father encouraged other parents to participate in police-sponsored education programs, create family "passwords" and take advantage of every possible teaching opportunity."Teach them whatever (you) can," he advised parents. "Any strategy that works for them to get away from the stranger. Even though (you) think children are not listening, they are listening."