A 22-year-old Shippensburg man accused of attempting to lure a 12-year-old girl into his vehicle on June 21 told police he offered the girl a ride because he thought it was about to rain.

Michael S. McCleary Jr. called Shippensburg police after the initial report of an attempted child abduction was released. He told police he was the one driving the vehicle along Roxbury Road when he asked the girl if she wanted a ride since it was about to rain.

The girl told police she was walking near the cemetery when a silver, four-door sedan stopped next to her, and the male driver asked her where she was going, and told her to “get into the car,” according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Magisterial District Judge H. Anthony Adams’ office. When she told him no, the man drove away.

A witness to the incident sent police some photos and a video because she thought it was a strange place for a vehicle to stop in the middle of the road. The woman told police it was drizzling lightly when she took the video and photos, but doesn’t recall it raining the rest of the day.

McCleary called police as soon as he woke up the afternoon of June 21 when his girlfriend told him about the initial police report. He called in because he knew it was him, and later offered a voluntary written statement to police.

On June 23, police interviewed the girl again at her home, and she said the man told her to get in the car, and when she said no, he said, “I will take you where you need to go,” and she again declined the offer, and walked away from the vehicle. The girl said the man then drove away.

McCleary went to the police station on June 23 to recount the incident. He said he was driving home from work and he saw the girl walking.

“He said he thought it was about to rain, so he asked her if she wanted a ride. She told him no, and he said he then drove away. I asked McCleary if he asked her where she was going, and he said no. He said he did not know the girl and does not remember seeing her walking before,” the affidavit reads.

McCleary then said he thought the girl was one of his younger sister’s friends because she looked like her.

McCleary has been charged with one count of attempting to lure a child into a motor vehicle. He was taken to Cumberland County Prison in lieu of $50,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing in the case has been scheduled for July 18, before Adams. 

McCleary has no previous criminal record in Pennsylvania, according to online court records.

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