luringBy ERIN ROLL
roll@montclairlocal.news

It was just a misunderstanding, say police. A suspected luring incident in Montclair was actually an Uber driver making a scheduled pickup.

An 11-year-old girl was at the corner of Alexander Avenue and Squire Hill Road on Jan. 2 when a man, driving a brown, newer-model SUV, pulled up and asked if she needed a ride. The girl said no, and the man drove off toward Grove Street, according to police. The girl then reported it to the police.

The man, actually an Uber driver, had been driving through the area looking for his assigned pickup and asked the girl if she was his fare, Lt. David O’Dowd said in a statement released Thursday.

“The luring investigation has now been ended,” he said.

The encounter prompted the schools to send out a notice to parents on Jan. 3 and the police to issue a sketch of the man on Jan. 4.

“I am pleased to learn the suspected student luring was in fact an Uber driver looking for his assigned fare,” Superintendent Kendra Johnson said. “I am further pleased that our students are wise enough to seek out assistance if strangers ask them if they need a ride. Given the unfortunate ills in our society, we always want our students to be alert and aware of their surroundings.”