NBC10 Philadelphia - Doug Shimell
Art Deaner of Camden County was supposed to pick up his friend's daughter from the bus stop, but accidentally drove off with the wrong Courtney. NBC10's Doug Shimell reports on the mix up that has a happy ending.
Courtney Durr was waiting to be picked up by her mom's friend after school on Nicholson Road and Cornell Avenue in Gloucester City on Tuesday. Art Deaner meanwhile was supposed to pick up his friend's daughter Courtney at the same location. So when Deaner arrived and saw Courtney, he naturally called for her to come inside his vehicle.
"I told her I was looking for Courtney,'" said Deaner. "And the young girl said her name was Courtney."
"I got off the bus and he pulled up and he asked if there was a Courtney," said Courtney Durr. "I said, 'Yeah.' My crossing guard let me go and I went with him."
Courtney Durr knew she was being picked up by her mom's friend so she reluctantly went inside. There was only one problem. Deaner was supposed to pick up 6-year-old Courtney Fetters not 9-year-old Courtney Durr.
Deaner hadn't seen Fetters in some weeks and the girl recently got a haircut so he assumed Durr was the Courtney he was supposed to pick up.
"My girlfriend called me and said, "where's Courtney?'" said Courtney Durr's mother, Pam Durr. "I said, 'well she's supposed to be at the bus stop waiting for you.' She said, 'she's not here.'"
Deaner says he started to realize something wasn't right when he talked with the girl about a recent vacation.
"He was like, 'you weren't with Aunt Mary in Maine?'" said Courtney Durr. "No, I would never have been in Maine."
"I know Courtney was in Maine for two weeks," said Deaner. "I had to turn around and take her back. I got the wrong Courtney."
Before he could go back however, police were already on his trail. They pulled Deaner over and arrested Deaner.
The crossing guard noticed that Durr went inside a vehicle that she didn't normally go in. Fearing an abduction, the crossing guard recorded Deaner's license number and alerted police. After asking him several questions however, police say they realized it was all a mix up and didn't file charges.
Courtney Fetters was found safe and sound while Courtney Durr was reunited with her mother.
"I forgive them!" said Pam Durr. "They didn't know any better because they haven't seen her in a while."
There was also a lesson learned.
"Don't go in someone's car when you don't know 'em," said Courtney Durr.
While Deaner had trouble recognizing the right Courtney, he tells NBC10 he'll always remember what she looks like now.
"I won't forget," said Deaner. "I'll take a picture."