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Man who approached, scared Novato children turns out to be unrecognized family friend

Novato police said Wednesday that a case reported Sunday involving a suspicious man who approached young children turned out to be a misunderstanding involving a family friend the children did not recognize.

Police had said the man approached the children at about 5 p.m. in the 700 block of Sutro Avenue while they were on a walk and said he had recently spoken with their mother, who told him to bring them home.

The children fled the area and asked for assistance from a neighbor after the interaction.

At about 4 p.m. Tuesday, Novato police heard from the mother, who told officers a male friend of the family contacted her earlier in the day and said he was the one who had stopped and spoke with the children.

Police found and spoke with the man, who was cooperative and confirmed he knows the family and that the children did not immediately recognize him.

The police department said:

“This is a good reminder that even if the incident turns out differently than expected, it is always best to give us a call to look into it.”

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