Turtlegram: A day after a jogger told police she was approached by a suspicious man in a van, prompting a public alert by police, authorities now say the driver of the vehicle was making a well-intended offer of water.
Police Chief Thomas Goulden detailed the mixup in a statement released Thursday 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. 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.”
On Wednesday, police said a woman who lives on Brown Road told investigators Tuesday morning that a man driving a large green van drove up to her while she was running on Hazen Road.
A post on Facebook claiming to be from the woman described the encounter as occurring around 9:30 a.m., with the driver of the windowless cargo van pulling so close she had to jump into a ditch covered with poison ivy at the side of the road to avoid being hit. The woman wrote that the driver, a man who appeared to be 55 to 60 years old and who was wearing large glasses and a baseball hat, offered her some water. She said she could see the knee and elbow of another person sitting in the second row of the van.
The woman wrote that the driver continued to talk to her, but she ran away fast. Upon investigation, police located the van driver and confirmed he meant no harm.
So we were gonna write about this yesterday but never got around to it. The whole thing sounded weird. At first it sounded like the driver slowed down and approached her because he thought he hit her. I know if I was driving along and some jogger had to jump out of the way and into a poison ivy ditch the first thing I’d do is stop and make sure she’s OK.
But the good samaritan who did this has to learn how to not be a sketchball in 2016. Were his intentions good? Sure. But who the hell offers some random jogger water? It wasn’t THAT hot yesterday. Plus, the woman says she was only five minutes into her run, so how dehydrated could she possibly look?
It sucks that we live in a world like this, but it’s up to you to recognize that it is in fact that the world you’re living in. It’s been almost a month now since Vanessa Marcotte was killed and it’s absolutely insane that they haven’t found the killer yet. Word is that the DNA tests came back negative. They have their suspicions, but if they thought they had a suspect then we would know by now.
So knowing that there is some random guy out there going around raping and murdering female joggers on their own, you can’t just pull up next to some strange woman in a van and offer her water. Especially when you’re in a town that houses the most dangerous killers in Massachusetts, including Aaron Hernandez. Can’t do it. Doesn’t matter how good your intentions are. Plus, runners don’t wanna be bothered when they’re running. They just wanna be left alone so they can try not to be fat. If some good samaritan came up to me when I was jogging and offered me water I’d assume that “he who shall not be named from Fitchburg” was in the backseat, so I’d tell them to fuck off and go away. If I was thirsty I would’ve brought a dollar with him and stopped at the 7-11. Runners don’t need good samaritans to offer them free stuff during their runs. Lesson learned.
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