Child-pursuit report brings a swarm of cops — and a surprise ending

Benjamin S. Brasch
Erik Hill

Police received a report from a witness of a man yelling and running after a girl in Mountain View early Thursday morning and responded with a small militia of 20 police cars, the crime van and the chief of police. Officers prowled around Mountain View looking for a suspect, grilling possible witnesses and putting out a call to the public for help.

As it turned out, the girl and the man were indeed yelling. But it wasn't at each other and she was never at risk, except perhaps for a tardy note.

It was a girl and her father chasing after a school bus trying to get it to stop because she was late to school, said Jennifer Castro, Anchorage Police spokeswoman.

Before police reached that conclusion, a 26-person swarm of detectives and officers descended upon the Mountain View Car Wash, 433 Commercial Drive, and started to canvass the neighborhood for information. They asked businesses for surveillance film, she said.

She said one business' surveillance footage did show a man running behind a girl, which confirmed the witness report, but police believe the person who made the original call didn't see the scene play out -- with the girl safely getting on the bus and going to school, on time.

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