A “suspicious” man driving a van who approached a woman jogging in Shirley, Massachusetts, was actually just a good Samaritan and posed no threat, investigators now believe.
Shirley police had put out a bulletin alerting residents that the man pulled up alongside the woman around 10 a.m. Tuesday and asked if she needed any water while she was jogging.
The woman had run away after the encounter and called police.
Police Chief Thomas Goulden said in a statement released Thursday that investigators were able to identify the man and determined he was expressing genuine concern about the woman’s hydration levels that sunny morning.
“The investigation confirms that the operator did make contact with the jogger and did offer her a bottle of water because she appeared to be dehydrated from running on a warm day,” he wrote in a statement to residents.
“The operator did not know that he had caused fear in the female jogger and was very apologetic that this act of kindness turned into a news story. I met with both the operator and the jogger this morning and this case has been resolved to both parties' liking.”
Shirley is about a half-hour drive from Princeton, Massachusetts, where 27-year-old Vanessa Marcotte was killed on Aug. 7 while running near her mother’s home. Her body was found not far from her running route.
No arrests have been made in that case, prompting many joggers throughout the Bay State to take extra precautions to ensure their safety.