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UPDATE: Suspect exonerated

May 19, 2010 12:00 am

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By KEITH EPPS

A man who recently worked briefly as a substitute school bus driver for Spotsylvania County was arrested Monday for trying to lure a 9-year-old boy into his personal vehicle, police said.

Carl Frederick Rice, 51, of 10903 Cedar Post Lane in Spotsylvania was charged with attempted abduction and placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail, Sheriff’s spokeswoman Liz Scott said.

Scott said the child was riding his scooter in the area of 10800 Crestwood Drive about 6 p.m. Monday when a tan pickup truck pulled up next to him. The driver told the child that the child’s friend “Chris” wanted to see him and asked him if he wanted a ride.

The child didn’t have a friend by that name and told the man he did not want to get into the truck with him. When the driver continued to try to talk the boy into getting in, the child took out his cell phone and called his mother. The driver left after seeing the boy on the phone.

Scott said the child gave an “extremely accurate” description of the truck and the clothes the man was wearing. His mother found the truck at 10903 Cedar Post Lane before deputies arrived.

Deputies found Rice at the home and he was identified by the child and taken into custody. Scott praised the boy for “doing everything we could have possibly asked him to do.”

Rice’s time as a county school bus driver was brief. School system spokeswoman Sara Branner said he worked for the system from April 26 until May 7 of this year.

Branner said Rice was sent a letter on May 6 informing him that he could not drive anymore because of a personnel matter. Branner said she could not disclose what the personnel matter involved, and she wasn’t sure about the ages of the children who rode on his bus.

Rice is being held without bond.



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