Cop Suspects Dad Walking with His Kid of Being a Predator & Adds, “You Should THANK Me”

Hi nrnnyhznfn
Readers! Here it goes again – a man, a kid, a cop. Read on. – L.

Dear Free-Range Kids: Recently my youngest daughter and I had an experience that really shook me up (both of us, actually), and I wanted to share it with you. We were walking to the library together, and she was holding my hand and trying to pull me into telephone poles and whatnot as we walked, which is a silly game that she enjoys. Suddenly a police car pulled up beside us, lights on and everything. The cop gets out of his car, says “Sir, please step away from the child,” then proceeds to crouch down and ask her if “everything is okay.”

After re-asking a few times, getting a more and more nervous “yes” each time, he stands up and informs me that someone had called 911 reporting what looked like a young girl being abducted. My daughter and I both explained what was really happening, and not only did he not even apologize, he chastised ME for not being, and I quote verbatim here, “More thankful someone was watching out for my daughter.”

We did eventually make it to the library and home, but it has made me slightly more cautious and watchful whenever we walk places. Is this a normal reaction to an event like this? Has anything like this happened to anyone else here?

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125 Responses to Cop Suspects Dad Walking with His Kid of Being a Predator & Adds, “You Should THANK Me”

  1. Silver Fang July 31, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    If you got the cop’s badge number, you should file a complaint at the police station.

  2. motherhoodisanart July 31, 2012 at 11:36 pm #


  3. Kacey Bollrud July 31, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    You should call the Police and complain about the officer’s handling of the situation. He had no right to make your daughter feel uncomfortable. There are a lot better ways to go about that. He also had no right to chastise you and that should be part of your complaint as well. It is nice that someone actually had their blinds open and was paying attention to what was happening on the street… and it’s nice that the cops were able to respond fast enough to reach your before you got to the library. Those are the things to be thankful for, not the stereotyping of the situation when any male is seen alone with a child.

  4. Brenda July 31, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    Is it because she was pulling you into things? I’m really confused about why someone called and why the cop would have stopped. If anytime a kid is pulling at their father’s hand is now a reportable possible abduction then the police force had better get some reinforcements.

    Every trip to the to store “hurry up!” every trip home from someplace they want to stay, “five more minutes” will result in pulling.

    This is just ridiculous.

  5. Fuchsia July 31, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

    I would definitely call in a complaint! That is completely unreasonable.

    I wonder about these people who call in false reports regarding children. Is there any consequence to them? Should they not be charged with filing a false report? They have wasted the time of the police and made a parent out to be criminal and made the child go through dealing with the police. To me this seems quite harmful. There should be a consequence if you make a judgement call like that and are completely wrong.

  6. View Point July 31, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    “…she was holding my hand and trying to pull me into telephone poles and whatnot as we walked,”

    THAT could look suspicious — to someone who didn’t take time to observe you for 5 minutes. The 911 caller obviously had a worst-first mindset.

  7. Filioque July 31, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

    I second all the suggestions of filing a complaint. No one should have to put up with harassment like that, especially since the cop didn’t have the grace to even apologize.

    Our children are adopted and a different race from us. My husband has said that he’s glad they’re older now, because he was always worried about this exact kind of thing when they were younger.

  8. Sabine August 1, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    No one called 911 on this guy. This was yet another instance of a cop abusing his authority.

  9. backroadsem August 1, 2012 at 12:06 am #

    This makes me absolutely sick to read. This is not what cops should be doing! While I do approve of neighbors looking out for kids (can’t fault the caller for that) the cop was absolutely unprofessional. I would be calling in a complaint!

  10. Freedom for kids August 1, 2012 at 12:16 am #

    Check out the article “Babysitting While White”. It’s about a grandfather who was stopped while walking with his little black granddaughter. It should be easy to find online.

  11. Chris Moewes August 1, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    I’d like to read the police blotter on this incident. ”Report of child abduction turns out to be father and daughter having fun… oops our bad”

  12. Ms. Herbert August 1, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    I’ve played this game as a kid and as an adult. It usually involves a great deal of laughing and smiling. I just can’t see calling 911. This is coming from someone that has interfered with situations that set off my hinky meter.

    1. Was driving home. I saw a older boy dragging a younger child down the street. The younger boy was yelling help and struggling pretty hard. I stopped and asked the younger boy do you need help or are you playing. The boys both said playing. About that time their father came around the side of the house, I explained I was just making sure the younger boy didn’t really need help. The dad thanked me.

    2. Another time a woman was dragging a boy screaming no from a store. In my best teacher voice I asked the boy Who is that? He stopped screaming and said mom. I asked is there some reason you aren’t supposed to go with her? He said no she’s my mom, sorry mom. Then he walked out.

    3. Two women trying to force a girl about 6 into the car. She was fighting like her life depended on it I asked if she was ok. Turned out she was autistic and didn’t want to put on her seatbelt. One of the women was a therapist working with the family on these issues. I have to say I took down the license plate number on that one.

    Growing up there was a custodial kidnapping of some cousins. Even though they told people they had been kidnapped no one listened because they were with their mom. Their mentally ill and abusive mom, who lost custody. Also a classmate was kidnapped for ransom, and saved because people answered her screams for help.

  13. Rich Wilson August 1, 2012 at 12:25 am #

    Maybe a call to 911 to report someone impersonating a police officer.

  14. Scott Lazarowitz August 1, 2012 at 12:28 am #

    Don’t complain to the police about the officer. That just pulls you into a situation of “Citizen vs. Police” even more. These days, police do not like getting complaints about officers, and they retaliate. The police are a Brotherhood, and they stick up for each other, no matter how much one individual police officer mistreats, harasses, bullies, assaults, unlawfully-arrests, tases, shoots, beats, or murders innocents.

  15. Ben August 1, 2012 at 12:31 am #

    You have every right to be shook up, but there’s no reason to be more careful. If you’re going to check everyone on the street to see who might call 911, you’ll go as nuts as they’ve become.

  16. mitbeta August 1, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    Five words to learn when dealing with the police: “Are (Am) we (I) free to go?”

  17. sploop August 1, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    Ugh, that’s just nuts. He could at least have apologized for inadvertently hassling an innocent citizen on the street.

    I just got the Military Police called on me for losing track of my four-year-old in a housing area, for all of fifteen minutes. We were out front weeding the flower bed when I went inside to use the bathroom and refill my coffee mug. My family previously lived in a semi-rural neighborhood where free-ranging was kind of just taken for granted, so keeping the kids on their new short-leash has been… trying. (It’s been especially hard on my seven-year-old, whose judgement and street-smarts I trust and want him to continue to develop: but the rules are arbitrary, inflexible and he can’t be out of my sight til he’s in FOURTH GRADE.


    I’m actually really pissed that my neighbor’s first instinct when encountering a happy, well-fed, wandering neighborhood preschooler is to report it to the cops, not talk to me personally. I spent forty-five minutes making a sworn statement, and I’m sure it’s going into my file at the housing office, too.

    Thanks so much, “neighbor.”

    Geez, and people wonder why nobody trusts each other anymore.

  18. Lori W. August 1, 2012 at 1:11 am #

    While I understand that there is a need to sometimes intervene or to check on the safety of a child, it seems that authorities could use some training in order to do that in a sensitive manner. Here’s how the situation could have been handled better:

    Cop (smiling): Hello, folks how are you today?
    Dad and daughter: Fine.
    Cop: Where are you heading?
    Dad: To the library.
    Cop to daughter: Is this your Daddy?
    Daughter: Yes.
    Cop: You have a great Dad. Enjoy your trip to the library.

  19. Chrissy August 1, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    Lori W, but what if the child says No, because she’s with her uncle or grandfather. A small child may not think to add that information in and then the cop will be suspicious or whatever.
    And if there are no problems, it’s not the cop’s business where they’re heading.

  20. Mike August 1, 2012 at 1:56 am #

    The police are not your friends, and they are not there to help you.

  21. Yan Seiner August 1, 2012 at 2:02 am #

    Put yourself in this cop’s position; someone calls in the situation, he has to investigate. In our gun happy culture, it’s quite possible the man in this situation has a gun. The cop has to make sure he does not get shot while handling the situation.

    Could he have handled it better? Yes. Should he have observed the situation first? Probably. Once he’s in the situation he has to follow procedure and insure that he does not get shot while talking to the child.

    Should the person who made the call exercised better judgement? Definitely.

    But don’t blame the cop for being put in a no-win situation.

  22. Sky August 1, 2012 at 2:20 am #

    Maybe it looked like she was trying to escape and you were holding onto her. In which case, I honestly would be thankful someone had bothered to report it and that the police responded so promptly. Mistaken identity cleared up in a few seconds of conversation with no one charged with anything is not a cause for major complaint or concern in my opinion. It’s an inconvenience and maybe and embarrassment, but it was done with good intent and didn’t delay you terribly long and is no reason to change your future behavior or get particularly bent out of shape. The cop asked some questions. That’s ALL he did. B.

  23. Christina August 1, 2012 at 2:20 am #

    I disagree that the cop was in a no-win situation. His job is not to take a call at face value. It’s to INVESTIGATE. There are multiple approaches he could have taken. He created that situation by pulling up with lights blazing, and then worsened it by being overly aggressive and scaring a little kid (who will now probably not trust cops much – I know I don’t and for not dissimilar reasons). My husband was once pulled over for no discernable reason, made to get out of his car and was frisked for weapons. Turns out the cop had been entering random license numbers into the computer and my husband’s truck came back as “stolen”. Except that it wasn’t, because the cop had transposed two of the plate numbers. Did he apologize? Nope. He told my husband “well, I guess we’ll let you go” like he was doing my husband a favor. So yeah, I blame the cop.

  24. Brian August 1, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    Yan and Sky, I cannot disagree more. Being stopped by the police is much more than a few minutes of inconvenience. It is disconcerting and makes you feel guilty even if you are not. Not only that but in this situation you are being accused of a horrible crime. There is traumatic stress associated with the threat of the loss of your freedom and the accusation that your parent is hurting you.

    The response in this case should be severe disciplinary action for the cop and a charge of misuse of 911 for the caller.

    Both of these would be unnecessary if the cop simply had said, “I am really sorry sir. I got this 911 call that and responded. I feel bad for interrupting your time with you daughter. Have a wonderful rest of the day.”

    Instead, like most cops, he had to pretend he was justified and right in the situation. Even when proven wrong MOST cops continue the power play.

  25. Filioque August 1, 2012 at 3:38 am #

    No-win situation? Nonsense. It’s one thing to do his job if someone really did call 911. But to not apologize and to remain defensive after finding out that the child wasn’t kidnapped? Unprofessional…and very worthy of a complaint.

  26. Dani August 1, 2012 at 3:52 am #

    I stopped using a stroller and switched to the ever controversial “child harness” for this exact reason. Anytime my son was in a carrier, stroller, backpack, being held, anything other than walking (starting at 9 months!) he screamed like he was being kidnapped. So to avoid those stares, I traded them for the “oh look she’s got her kid on a leash” stares. I prefer tha latter, honestly.

  27. Heath August 1, 2012 at 3:57 am #

    It would help a little to know what size town/city this happened in. Not that the police should act different when it comes to our basic rights, but small town cops are usually more bored, and more likely to bother people over stuff like this. I’m one of those who doubts that anyone called 911. That’s just the typical CYA response. When I was in college (in a small town), the police stopped me on three separate occasions to ask me where I was walking, late at night. Each time was either from the library or from my girlfriend’s. But they told me I looked suspicious, because I had on a backpack. In a college town!!!

  28. Crystal August 1, 2012 at 4:01 am #

    That is so beyond disgusting. I am very pro-cop, but get a grip. That poor girl will probably be suspicious of all cops for the rest of her life.

  29. Yan Seiner August 1, 2012 at 4:01 am #

    I did not say the cop did a good job, I said he was put in a no-win situation. We had a cop shot and killed in a situation not too different from this; a routine encounter with someone who was insane and shot first. So imagine, if you will, that you are walking into a possible kidnapping situation, with the perp quite likely to have a gun. How would you act?

    Yes he should have diffused the situation better and apologized at the end. But if you’ve never been in that sort of situation, don’t be too quick to blame him.

    But can everyone here honestly say that you do your job every single day, with unfailing professionalism, courtesy, and without making a single mistake?

  30. Chris August 1, 2012 at 4:09 am #

    Never, never, never think that police officers or law enforcement in general are there to “help” you. Their goal is do as little work as possible and to make the work that is done as easy as possible. The way that is accomplished is to restrict the freedom of the 99.999% of people who do nothing wrong in the name of safety and/or protecting the children. It’s always easier to stick it to innocent people than it is to do the work to stop the guilty.

  31. Brian August 1, 2012 at 4:38 am #

    Cops should treat citizens like clients, after all, that is what we are. We hire them, pay them, feed them, pay for them to retire and arm them.

    If I spoke to my clients the way cops speak to me I wouldn’t have a job. Sorry, but rude behavior from cops is the rule not the exception and it exists because WE have given cops WAY too much power.

    Further, if the cop is concerned for his/her safety when approaching a dad and daughter walking down the street then he/she has a real problem assessing risk and shouldn’t be a cop. Start with the statistical odds this is a kidnapping (astronomical) multiply by the likelihood it is a violent kidnapping involving a weapon (astronomical) and you get a pretty reasonable assessment of, hey maybe I should treat this as a likely mistake that I am just cleaning up.

  32. AW13 August 1, 2012 at 5:44 am #

    In response to being “more thankful that someone was looking out for your daughter”, you should have said, “I am looking out for my daughter.”, emphasis on the “I”.

    But that might have escalated the situation.

  33. bridgetannie August 1, 2012 at 5:48 am #

    @ Yan, see @Lori W’s response. It is all about the attitude. There was no reason for the police officer to respond in that manner. Simple courtesy while remaining alert. My father was a police officer for 30-years and he would have been appalled by this officer.

  34. Stafir August 1, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    @Yan No I can’t I’ve ever been perfect on my job. I’ve made mistakes..I’ve mischarged customers. I’ve made transactions take longer. I’ve given back too much or too little money…etc.

    And then I do whats right, I appologize for the mistake I made. i don’t expect them to thank me for making a mistake. I thank them for being understanding of my mistake instead.

    No that cop was totally in the wrong, and even went around asking the questions incorrectly. If he was truely trying to just see what was going on, he wouldn’t have been aggressive with the child, he wouldn’t have said ‘you should thank me for bothering you’. He should have asked the questions in a friendly matter. And he should have thanked them for their time, and for co-operating. Explaining its appreciated and he was just checking.

  35. BC August 1, 2012 at 6:26 am #

    @Yan: “So imagine, if you will, that you are walking into a possible kidnapping situation, with the perp quite likely to have a gun. How would you act?”

    If this officer assumed he was walking into a potential armed confrontation with a kidnapper on the basis of a dubious 911 call from a random neighborhood tipster, he shouldn’t be employed in a position of public trust.

    Seriously: any concerns that the cop had resulting from the 911 call could have been resolved with 30 seconds of observation, and perhaps a polite, “Is everything alright?” issued out of a rolled-down squad car window. If Officer Friendly can’t manage that, then he should find a different line of work that won’t tax his judgement to quite the same extent; say, manning a fry-o-lator, where he can use his minimum wages to indulge his Martin Riggs fantasies on XBox.

  36. Suzanne August 1, 2012 at 6:38 am #

    It’s appalling that the officer was so rude and intimidating. I agree that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to call the department and make them aware of the way the situation was handled. I would try to be clear that you aren’t upset that the cop checked to find out what was going on but the way it was handled. We do want our children to know that the police are there to help them if there is a problem and the way he behaved will only serve to instill fear for that child in the future. To the dad, it will be difficult for a while but please, try not to allow your behavior tochange because of this incident. Be proud that your daughter has a dad that is willing to play silly games like that and walk to the library with her. The time before she loses interest in playing like that is brief and you want to have more memories (minus the cop of course) like that to look back on. It is so sad that our society has gotten to the point where people don’t recognise a child having fun with her dad.

  37. KJ August 1, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    Sad to say I actually worried about that one time. We were talking to our cars from a ballgame and my daughter, who was throwing a fit, said she wanted her Mom. “I want my Mommy! I want my Mommy!”. I’m holding her tight and telling her, with clinched teeth, “Get in the car.” I’m thinking … I wonder if I’m going to get busted for child abduction. Sad that the thought has to cross my mind but its instances like these that put them there!

  38. Ann August 1, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    The officer should have apologized.

  39. Yan Seiner August 1, 2012 at 7:19 am #

    Folks I think the cop was wrong too. I just think the outright calls posted here for his firing, or “severe disciplinary action”, and other such opinions are just as wrong. Let’s all remember that overreaction is what caused this situation, and overreaction certainly won’t fix it.

  40. oncefallendotcom August 1, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    Chalk up another “victory” for the Feminists. Feminization of the justice system is a key reason the justice system has cast all men as potential predators. Females kidnap kids too, but no one thinks that is suspicious.

  41. Spike-X (@SpikeEcks) August 1, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    What should he have been thankful for? That the cop didn’t just shoot him, to be on the safe side?

  42. Stefan Scott August 1, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Yup… I was asked to leave the playground with my 1 & 1/2 year old son. I was told that “a man in the park” even with his child “made the teachers uncomfortable”…

  43. Janet August 1, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    It probably looked like she was trying to get away and not pulling him. I agree that it was stupid and I wouldn’t have called the police, but people worry about everything these days.

  44. Caroline August 1, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    What a bummer the child and the father had to go through this. Blaming the police is so wrong though. I have been a 911 Dispatcher for 17+ years, and can tell you unequivocally that the reality of many (if not most) calls are “not as reported.” These kind of calls generally come in based on someone’s perception that there was an abduction occurring. I can only speculate the particulars of this call but imagine phrases like “young child struggling to get away. Unknown if the 2 are related, etc etc. . . ” No dispatcher and no officer is going to risk the liability of under-responding to that possibility (even though deep down the officers, many of whom are fathers of little girls too, know the odds of it being an actual abduction are slim to none). It wouldn’t be worth a career or a lawsuit. The criminal and civil liability of law enforcement is extreme. The paranoia of our letigious society is at fault here, not the officer responding quickly and seriously to what was reported.

  45. TMLutas August 1, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    Re: litigious societies, the only thing that will cure oversensitive police and dispatchers is to sue, sue frequently, and win. That’s how they got oversensitive in the other direction in the first place.

    The ultimate cure is to stop letting the lawyers run the show but until both sides are pressurizing the powers that be it is simply less dangerous to just let the lawyers have their way and to impose on normal, everyday family activities.

  46. juan dossantos August 1, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    Hmmm, there is absolutely nothing credible about this story…

    Sounds like someone’s fairy tale…

  47. Andrew August 1, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    Caroline, what civil and criminal liability of law enforcement? LEOs see criminal liability in only the most extreme of circumstances, and even in those it’s questionable. It’s virtually impossible to win a civil suit against an LEO, and in the rare times it happens, the lawsuit is paid for by the taxpayers, not the officers themselves. Punishments usually involve a few weeks of paid vacation.

    Heck, in Castle Rock v. Gonzales, the Supreme Court said that officers aren’t required to protect people.

  48. jonathan August 1, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    The cop sounded like a real idiot. It is hard to reason with people like that.

  49. Beth August 1, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    I am a dispatcher too, and @TMLutas, if you think dispatchers are “oversensitive” I invite you to spend a few hours sitting along in any dispatch center. While I agree that typical dispatch center policies are based totally on worst case scenarios, do you really think individual dispatchers should decide what is and isn’t a valid call for service?

    It’s our job to take the calls, get the required information, and dispatch an officer to handle it. We do not get to say “Hmmm that seems dumb, I’m not even going to put in a call.” We might want to, and we may think it seems dumb, but we have to put it in for the police, and it’s up to him/her to handle it, NOT the dispatcher. Sorry if that’s “oversensitive” to you.

  50. qponnewbie August 1, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    I had something similar happen to me once when I was about 18. I was goofing around with my (then) boyfriend, rough housing outside a Subway restaurant. A cop driving by made sure I was OK. I thought it was a bit weird since we both were laughing and smiling. Oh, and this happened in Chicago, where cops aren’t bored.

    I worry about this with my ODD 5yo sometimes. One time he decided to grab onto a concrete pylon in front of Walmart because I wouldn’t buy him a toy. Some lady decided that I was in the wrong walking away from him and said straight out to my son “I’m sorry you have a mommy like her, little boy.” I just don’t get people!

  51. Lin August 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    What a ludicrous comment. I can tell you with certainty that feminism and the movement for equal opportunities for women is a lot more engrained in most Western European countries compared to the US yet there isn’t the same paranoia about men in relation to interacting with kids.

  52. Lin August 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    (that comment really annoyed me)
    And it appears to me that the women most eager to paint a picture of all men being predators – like the regular posters on some of the mothers forums who will send their husbands out if their daughter has a slumber party – are NOT feminists by any definition.

  53. sexhysteria August 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    I would sue the police department.

  54. Pablo August 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    Stuff like this is what made NWA’s infamous song popular

  55. Pablo August 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    And if that dad has mixed-race children (like my brother), the paranoid schmucks will REALLY start suspecting of you of “pedophilia” since “that child don’t look like you”. The paranoid male-bashing skunks make the world harder than it has to be!

  56. common sense August 1, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    Break it down.

    1. Cop gets a call of a suspicious circumstance.

    2. He locates the Male and a Young female.

    3. With out knowing the actual fact yet, he tries to figure out the situation.

    4. “Sir, please step away from the child,” that was polite to say, and it allows the child to be away from the unknown male. If it was you child that was abducted, wouldn’t you want them to be taken away from the possible threat as soon as possible. Again all he knows is that it could be a possible abduction, last thing you need is a hostage.

    5. Finds that everything is ok, and the cop departs on his way.

    You guys are totally right. the Cops is a total a$$ for doing his job. Why don’t you call the detachment and complain about him taking the complaint seriously. I know if my child was abducted they would be the first to call, and I would want them to be there.

    I bet lskenazy is the type of person that complains about his things getting wet by firefighters.

    Or if doctors have no time to hear about your life in an emergency room.

  57. missjanenc August 1, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    Scott, I totally agree about cops sticking together and indulging in payback. I fed a feral cat colony behind a McDonald’s and a cop gave me a ticket IN the parking lot. I complained to the local precinct that the ticket was unwarranted since I was on private property, not driving on the street. Well a couple of days later a cop was parked there and I just thought he was eating dinner. When I pulled out he came right on my tail and pulled me over. I had left my billfold on the counter (mile from home) and the clown arrested me, deliberately locked my keys inbcar and put the cuffs on so tightly my hands went numb.

  58. missjanenc August 1, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    common sense…I hate to break it to you but Lenore isn’t a guy. And you’re probably the type that pushes your 13 year-old around the store in a shopping cart and takes your attorney to parent-teacher conferences.

  59. Casey August 1, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    I would just like to add a touch of advice to the dad about dealing with this situation. I agree with most of the commenters on here that you should not change your day-to-day life over this and that at the very least the police officer should have apologized to you. I do think you should make a complaint to the police station, but I’d like to suggest you keep this as much as possible in the ‘adult’ realm.

    Years ago my dad and my significantly younger half brothers had a situation with the police where my youngest brother ended up getting handcuffed. He was younger than 8 at the time so it was probably a little bit of overkill, but he is a bigger kid, and there were extenuating circumstances at the time, so I can sort of see the officer‘s side of things. I would have understood my father making a complaint, but I have a huge problem with the fact that he brought the event up over and over in front of my brother and has continued to play it up for years! It is no wonder to me that both of my brothers have problems with the police now, but I think that could have been avoided with better parenting.

    If your daughter has questions or needs to talk about the event, by all means, I think you should be there for her and support her. If you do end up getting an apology from the police officer or the higher ups, for sure let her know that restitution has been made. But I hope you are able to chalk this situation up to a bad event that shouldn’t change how you parent or how your daughter generally feels about police.

    Also, as a side note, I don’t believe it really always needs to take a lawsuit to stand up for what is right. When my order comes back wrong at McDonald’s, I call and let them know it wasn’t to my satisfaction. They generally give me a credit or thank me for letting them know they can improve. That’s what we should all be doing in every situation where things aren’t up to snuff — just make your voices heard.

    Thanks for making your voice heard, Lenore…even though sometimes the stories I hear (like this one) make me want to bury my face in a pillow and scream!

  60. Casey August 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    *I should mention that I do actually agree with legal action where needed as well. I just don’t think it should always come down to money. There are usually legal things that can be done that do not seem like a cash grab and I think those options have more sway a lot of the time.

  61. Jenny Islander August 1, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    The problem I have is that the policeman escalated the situation. Stay in the car, officer, and be calm. You don’t have to wave the big stick around to prove that you have it, okay?

  62. Cathy August 1, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    My husband is in law enforcement(corrections) and I can say it changes a person. Law enforcement have to deal with major stresses all day, more than most other professions. Every day they leave their families they know it is possible they might not return home. While it’s not something we stress over, it’s a fact. the men and women who work those jobs put their lives on the line daily. Law enforcement are like a brotherhood and stick together because, quite obviously, the public will sure never back them up because a few bad cops cause people to label everyone who works in the career as being horrible. While this cop definitely handled the situation all wrong, and should have apologized…we don’t have all the facts of the situation. Maybe he had just come from the scene of an actual crime and was on edge. Maybe someone in his department was just killed in the line of duty adding stress to his day causing him to not be his kindest. Maybe he’s frustrated at working his butt off for very little pay and having citizens never once thank him for the sacrifices he makes each day to try to protect them(which could be why he made such a comment). Maybe if society changed their ridiculous view of all cops being out to get them and cruel, based upon nothing but a few sensationalized media reports of a minority of cops being that way, the regular every day cop wouldn’t be such assholes. Is it an excuse for such behavior? No. But seems few people commenting seem to realize law enforcement are human beings too and I highly doubt many of you could function well and always be perfectly kind after dealing with the incredibly emotional and physical stress such a job creates. Most of you could never last long. But very obvious the everyday citizen could use a heavy dose of teh reality LEOs go through. They do see how horrible and cruel the world can be first hand, they live it, and it makes it harder for them to put on their rose colored glasses and ignore the possibility of threat occurring. Sad reading many of these comments at how very unthankful the majority are. Yes, my husband and I are perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves and our kids. We definitely don’t depend on the cops to rush in and save the day. But we also know better than to make a rash judgement of someone based upon one circumstance. I highly doubt the girl will be scarred for life, talk about worst first thinking!

  63. Lisa August 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    My husband was in the UK visiting his sister. When out one day with his brother in law and nephew he was stopped by the police because someone had reported two suspicious men with a young boy. The suspicious men were in fact the father of the boy and the uncle. I don’t blame the police they have to respond to these calls although perhaps they could be a little more sensitive – its not nice being suspected of being a paedophile.

  64. Katie August 1, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    That one made me nearly sick, physically. No exaggeration. I certainly hope that dad has written to the local paper, called every person with any authority in the whole county, and made that “police officer’s” name known. And I further hope that if the “officer” couldn’t be sacked over that, he’s been or will shortly be transferred to a desk job where he can’t pester anyone that way ever again.

  65. Rob August 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    Common sense is rather famous over on other forums as a constant pest, trolling incessantly about how great cops are and how they never, ever, do wrong. Hi from copblock ; don’t even bother to engage him, that’s just what he wants.

  66. BMS August 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    @ Cathy: I have to agree. My dad served for 30 years on the Chicago police force. He’s been bitten by a crazed woman and had his arm get infected. He’s had his cheek laid open by a suspect wielding a pipe. He and his partner saved 3 terrified kids who were home alone when their apartment house caught fire rather than waiting for the fire department to show up. Recently I was cleaning out his basement and found lots of his old records from the 80’s and 90’s, when unbeknownst to me we were constantly in danger of having our electricity and gas shut off. My dad was in all this physical danger, every day, and could barely pay the bills. Yes, there are bad cops. There are bad teachers, bad accountants, bad lawyers, probably bad ditch diggers as well. That doesn’t mean that every cop, accountant, lawyer, and ditch digger is out to get you. Complain about cops all you want, but if your house gets broken into, or someone mugs you, you’ll be on the phone to them. I don’t think this particular cop handled it well, and I would have been pissed off beyond belief. But I would have been pissed off at THAT cop, not all cops.

  67. Laura August 1, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    A similar experience happened to my husband and our daughter, who was 9 at the time. They had gone walking in an area near our subdivision, looking for geocaches, and they were approached by a policeman. Fortunately, this policeman didn’t separate them, but merely just asked friendly questions, stating that someone had reported a man walking with a young girl into the woods. Sheesh.

  68. Anthony Zarat August 1, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    This is a common occurence for fathers who want to be involved in their children’s lives. Some fathers do what the feminists want, and step back from this kind of thing (which explains why dads are less visibly involved with their children in public). Others live in fear of the next “event” where their children will be told to fear them.

    The sad thing is, mothers are far more likely to abuse children, compared to fathers.

  69. sparky August 1, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

    I guess he should be thankful he didn’t get tazex and/or beaten.

  70. Anon August 1, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    I don’t think the problem is that he was reported. That is a good thing. Much better to check and find out than not. Better to check the 99% innocent, but catch the 1% who aren’t, than not check anyone and have a bunch of kids abducted.
    I think the issue is that the cop didn’t apologise. That wouldn’t have taken much and would have helped the situation.

  71. bharatwrites August 1, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

    That cop had no right to treat you guys that way. If had just responded to the 911 call in a professional manner, that’s ok. And that little crack about ‘you should be thankful’? Gimme a break. These are the kind of cops who ask rape victims ‘what were you wearing’?

  72. gageendal August 1, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    I have to admit that since my wife was pregnant I’ve been looking at kids kinda’ fondly. I’ve been waiting for someone to announce that I’m a creeper ever since. Now that Ava’s here though, people sort of understand the situation.

    I think I can visualize the situation fairly well, I see her running up ahead pulling on your hand to get you to smack into the pole… though if I was the person watching and I saw you smack head first into the pole and then act dazed while the little girl giggles her head off, I might not think that this was the case… who knows, people get arrested for letting their kids go get Pizza now a’day.

  73. AW13 August 1, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    @Cathy, @BMS: I think the frustration here stems from two, separate, sources. First, about the police officer: I would have to assume that most people aren’t angry that the guy was doing his job, per se, but that he was (from this account) antagonistic and rude. Being antagonistic and rude is not conducive to cooperation in any situation. Of course we depend on law enforcement, and of course they are human. I think in this situation, an apology would have gone a long way. I fully agree that not all – or even most – LEOs are bad people – I have a cousin who is a police officer, third shift. I’m very proud of him for taking the chances that he does in order to keep the city a safer place for us all. But I’d also like to think that he would apologize if he’d found himself in this sort of situation. So I know that my frustration with this situation is that the officer in question acted rudely – not that all police are awful, or any sort of sweeping generalization like that.

    The second (and to me, greater) source of frustration (and one for which the LEOs bear no responsibility) is that men are assumed to be predators by default. This, to me, is a far larger issue than the rudeness of one police officer. The idea that men are inherently dangerous or predatory is damaging to society as a whole. I am angered that my son could grow up in a world in which he will always be suspect. It’s not right to treat half of our population like criminals just because of their gender. It damages how boys view themselves and it damages how girls view boys, and as these children grow into adulthood, they have a skewed perception of themselves and each other, which perpetuates a false dichotomy between the genders. And it is ridiculous.

  74. BMS August 1, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    AW13, I agree with you – the whole men=predators thing is completely ridiculous. But that isn’t just a cop problem. It’s a society problem. And I will no more put up with ‘all cops are out to get you’ than I would put up with ‘all men are pedophiles.’

  75. Gerald August 1, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    I’m late to the party here, but I’ve read through most of the comments.

    Yes, the gentleman should file a complaint. Until and unless people who have this happen to them call it out each and every time it happens, such nonsense will continue to happen.

    It would have helped GREATLY if the officer had said “I’m sorry”. The medical profession is already learning that such can be very helpful in avoiding lawsuits. The “no one in authority should ever say that they are wrong because it is a sign of weakness” idea, and their bosses not apologizing to the person that is wronged while privately saying to the offender working under him/her “don’t ever do that again”, unfortunately occurs both in police departments and, in many cases, with K-12 teachers as well.

    Again, unless such events are called out each and every time they happen, such nonsense will continue to happen. If you get nowhere with the complaint after a period of time, take it up the line until you get an acknowledgement of some kind.

    To the gentleman to whom this happened, good luck to you. Lenore, if you can follow-up on this, please do so.

  76. Rich Wilson August 1, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    “Some fathers do what the feminists want, and step back from this kind of thing”

    That’s the exact opposite of what feminists want.

  77. Gabriel August 1, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    Hello, I am a sixteen year old high school student. I look a lot older than i am, some people even thinking I’m in my twenties. Last year I was partaking in my normal schedule and walked to the daycare where my 3 year old sister stays during the day. After getting her, i started walking home, and about halfway home, me having her on my shoulders, a police car pulls up and a police officer steps out, he tells me to put her down, i complied, and then he started interrogating me, sternly asking questions such as where i was going, where i was coming from, and finally who i was, all while holding his tazer in his belt. He finally asked for my I.D. at which point i showed the only one i possessed, my school I.D. He looked at it, probably thinking it was fake, and asked for my “real” one. I tried to explain that i was only a student, but he raised his voice, saying it was “Bull@#$%”. I had to wait for my Mom to come over from her work to get the officer to leave me alone. My sister now thinks that “cops are bad”, I don’t want her to live in a world where there is even a shred of possibility that might be true.

  78. Stephanie August 2, 2012 at 12:31 am #

    @Rich Wilson – Yes!!! I was so confused by all the comments about “the feminists.” I mean, isn’t the point of feminism to NOT have such segregation between gender roles that any child under the care of a man in public would been seen as suspicious? That it’s ok for women to work outside the home and pursue a career, and that it’s ok for men to do housework and raise children? (Not to mention that it’s ok to follow “traditional” gender roles if that’s what works for you and your family!) I would think that most feminists would be THRILLED to see more men take such an interest in caring for their children!

  79. Rich Wilson August 2, 2012 at 12:52 am #

    @Stephanie – I think it’s kind of a catch-all boogyman phrase. A lot like ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’. If you don’t agree with someone, just apply a label that doesn’t apply to you.

    I see FRK as completely non-partisan, but conservatives see “when we were kids” and blame liberals. Liberals see “giving kids the freedom” and blame conservatives.

  80. B. Goodrich August 2, 2012 at 1:00 am #

    @Stephanie – These appear to be typical comments by members of the mens’ rights advocacy movement. A Net search for MRA will turn up information about this backlash movement against women’s rights.

  81. dishonorablejapes August 2, 2012 at 1:46 am #

    B.Goodrich – That’s because it’s pretty apparent to men what’s going on. It’s not a zero sum game. So cut it out.

  82. dishonorablejapes August 2, 2012 at 1:47 am #

    B. Goodrich – Nor does that make the advocates or those espousing such beliefs wrong.

  83. Common sense August 2, 2012 at 2:11 am #

    Rob, on August 1, 2012 at 18:52 said:
    “Common sense is rather famous over on other forums as a constant pest,”

    This will be my second post, however I don’t doubt that there are other pest using the same user name. ‘Im certain that only nice Rob’s use your user name ;P

    I just think that lskenazy has exaggerated the story just a bit with her catchy title “Cop Suspects Dad Walking with His Kid of Being a Predator & Adds, “You Should THANK Me” ”

    From what I understand is that the Cop asked you to thank him and that is what a lot of people on the thread also think, however that fact is and quote ” he chastised ME for not being, and I quote verbatim here, “More thankful someone was watching out for my daughter.” ”

    What do you think the Cop meant by “More thankful someone was watching out for my daughter.”. Could he be talking about the concerned citizen that called in the complaint.

    I’m sure the complainants personal experience, views or believes affected who they perceived the situation as very suspicious.

    Its a fact that in some cases women are used for abducting children. Its also not all ways that the child appears to be sacred and is groomed to answer to specific questions. Its a scary world that we live in.

    I was personally affected by an abduction case. We should not complain about the caller or the cop that stated regarding the complainant “More thankful someone was watching out for my daughter.”. We should be happy and thank that there are people out there that would call the Cops to check a situation rather then turning a blind eye to it. We don’t need to turn on each other when we try to help.

    lskenazy you must live in a first World Nation, were you have forgotten what it use to be like. When every one looking after each other and checked to make sure that we don’t need any help. Must be same same nation that has looting during hurricane Katrina, instead of helping the neighbor. Sadly we have become a very individual society.

    I know I would rather have a cop check on my child then presume everything looked fine and drive by.

    lskenazy you state that the child was scared and nervous of the cop. However you have probably seen children cry when put on Santa’s lap during the holiday season, but what do you see parents do. They teach them that it ok, and Santa is not there to hurt them.

    I would use this as a teaching experience with your child, that abductions are something real and if they see a cop they should be honest. If needed ask for their help.

    But maybe I am wrong. Just thought we could have a good argument on how we perceive the situation.

  84. LRH August 2, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    I’m late to the party myself, hopefully the posters are still reading this.

    @Cathy, @BMS First of all, and I mean no offense, but that your husband etc are police officers, frankly, tends to color your perception & make you defensive of them no matter what they do. It removes your partiality, frankly.

    Regardless, (Cathy) I think it was you who said that being a cop “changes a person.” Wrong. Some people choose to let it change them. Yes, they see the worst of society in what they do, but if they choose to LET this cause them to think that the whole world is fully of crime far more than what it actually is, that’s THEIR fault. Further, the stress of their job DOES NOT give them the right to act like an asshat. And the thing is, frankly, a LOT of them do. Do ALL of them? Of course not. But a LOT of them do. I say this based on the comments I’ve heard from people over the years but ALSO based on my own experiences.

    For some reason, and many here are going to think I’m weird, but this reminds me a lot of the argument I hear some women–and I stress some women–make about PMS. They think that the condition gives them the right to badger a man and it’s okay–after all, “you’re not a woman, you have no idea what I go through.” Wrong. PMS deserves no special treatment that other conditions don’t get. For instance, at times I’ve dealt with bad allergies, asthma and/or bronchitis. When I’m under the influence of any of those, it is AWFUL, and I do mean AWFUL. It is so easy for such to make me snappy towards other people. HOWEVER, it does not make it okay for me to do it, and then go “oh, I’ve got bad allergies, unless you have my condition you have no right to criticize my reactions.” Sound familiar?

    With either a woman’s PMS or my bronchitis/allergies or whatever, okay it’s fine to acknowledge the condition and be respectful about it, but that doesn’t mean the one with the condition has consent to be an asshat and claim an excuse.

    In the same way, a cop goes through what they do on their job, and it’s fine to acknowledge how tough their job is, sure–but it’s one thing to do that, it’s another thing to suggest that such gives them the RIGHT to be a jackass & who are we to judge their behavior.

    And, yes, as the others have said–I’m a male. I can’t help being born a male anymore than a Latino can help being born a Latino, or whatever. To treat me with suspicion regarding kids based on such is completely ridiculous, and a form of bigotry every bit as much as it was in the days when African-Americans were wrongly enslaved, made to use separate bathrooms, etc.


  85. BMS August 2, 2012 at 2:34 am #

    So your experiences and comments from other people lead you to think a lot of cops are bad. My experiences, and comments from other people, lead me to think that a few cops are bad, but most cops are okay. Why are your experiences more valid?

  86. TehMan August 2, 2012 at 3:13 am #

    I find it ridiculous that just because of people like silly me we have normal men being looked at side ways all the time if they are with children. Though I’d never abduct a child, I (surprise!) actually care about little girls and I am attracted to them. The two can and do coincide quite nicely. I would apologize to all the normal heterosexual men but it isn’t my fault society has become like this.

    If a cop had said that to me when I was with one of the little girls I know I would have gotten very mad. Thank him? For what? Harassing me and the girl I am with? People call the cops all the time with bogus claims. It is usually clear when a child is being abducted. That cop clearly just wanted to throw his weight around.

  87. Katie August 2, 2012 at 4:38 am #

    @Stephanie, that’swhat feminism OUGHT to be about, but not how it works. It’s degenerated into making men as insignificant as possible to build up women at men’s expense. Not literal expense usually….

  88. Common sense August 2, 2012 at 5:13 am #

    @LRH your compering this to a Women PMS, really?. Next your going to say that Soldiers don’t actually have post traumatic stress disorder and should not act any different after war. Or that the Gay community has a choice to be Straight. Your the reason why for every two steps our society takes into a more accepting nation you take us back a step with your neanderthal character.

    You say its based on the comments you heard from people over the years (You tube videos don’t count) but ALSO based on you own experiences. (What a cop asked you to slow down in a school zone while you where rushing to catch the end of the Young an the Restless so you got up set).

    I don’t like cops giving me tickets as much as the next person, but I also know that I was wrong. So when a cop tells me to slow down, I don’t consider that a bad experience. Or should he apologize for giving me a ticket and make it all better?

    @TehMan “People call the cops all the time with bogus claims. It is usually clear when a child is being abducted. That cop clearly just wanted to throw his weight around.”

    If its so clear, why do we still have missing children and you have not stop all the abductions.

    What are your facts on bogus calls? Should all calls be considered bogus now since its your expert opinion?

    Maybe your should read this;

    Or From

    During the study year, there were an estimated 115 stereotypical kidnappings, defined as abductions perpetrated by a stranger or slight acquaintance and involving a child who was transported 50 or more miles, detained overnight, held for ransom or with the intent to keep the child permanently, or killed.

    115 kidnappings in one year that are actually valid. Even though there is 2300 Missing reports per day in United Sates. Now stop an think for a second, I bet If now one called to report something suspicious for the 115 kidnappings that means that it was not “clear when a child is being abducted.”

    How about an example of a bus driver?

    A 4-year-old boy was taken on a 20-mile joyride by the
    schoolbus driver after the rest of the children had been
    dropped off at their homes. No force or threat was used
    to transport or detain the child; however, the bus driver
    concealed the child’s whereabouts. When the child did not
    come home at the usual time, the alarmed caretaker called
    the school and bus company to locate the child. Then, upon
    finding out where the child was, the caretaker contacted
    the police to recover the child. This episode lasted 7 hours.

    @TehMan But no your totally right, keep on looking down at your Iphone updating your latest Tweet because God forbid you actually take a look at reality.

  89. hineata August 2, 2012 at 6:17 am #

    @Gabriel – very sorry to hear that that happened to you and your sister. You sound like a wonderful big brother, and I hope this doesn’t put you off helping out with her.

  90. Tism August 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    Raise High The Flag ! Policy,Procedure,Protocol, right arm at a 45, click click ( goose step noise )

  91. Jenny Islander August 2, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

    “The feminists?” Are we a hive mind? Where is my hive queen located and why haven’t I ever received any telepathic messages from her?

  92. Jenny Islander August 2, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

    Also, most of “the feminists” I talk to or read from are concerened with getting men to be more involved in their children’s lives, because having to work to help keep the lights on and the fridge full and also being responsible for all of the child care, homework supervision, and PTA duty tends to wear on a person, and macho culture sneers at this stuff as unmanly.

    People don’t freak out about dads being involved with kids as a result of fighting for better rights for women. People don’t freak out about men being seen with kids in public because they want to do men down either. People freak out about this stuff, as Lenore has pointed out over and over, because of worst-first thinking instilled by reading too many scary headlines and ads. It boils down to stranger danger paranoia.

  93. Inalienable Wrights August 3, 2012 at 3:18 am #

    We live in a nation of Brown shirts that enjoy reporting on their fellow citizens to the cops or DHS. I have experienced several similar instances over the years. 30 years ago while bury a mule that had died some tourist called the game commission that they had witnessed cattle rustling, rather than asking me what I was doing. Need less to say cops don’t leave until they invent a crime. A few years back another Brown shirt called Americas Most Wanted and told them I was the guy. Even thought I straightened it out with them the local cops who don’t have to do any due diligence thought it would be fun to swat team raid me and point guns at my head. This kind of thing happens more often than you think. Thank the Brown shirts. They should learn that government is the big criminal and also through CPS the big kidnapper of children.

  94. Buffy August 3, 2012 at 4:50 am #

    Would a kidnapper really walk down the street with his victim, in broad daylight in full view of everyone? That doesn’t seem like the usual MO for a child snatcher….

  95. Daylight August 3, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    @ Buffy Because kidnapper only work at night right…

    How do children go missing from busy malls, parks and neighborhoods then?

    You must live under a nice rock, or have no kids to find this a real threat.

  96. Inalienable Wrights August 3, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Do your research and you will find out that cops and the people that cops work for are the big time kid kidnappers:

    And they murdered this ex US senator for exposing this racket:

  97. Trell August 3, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    We can guarantee that kid will grow up with the firm conviction that it is NEVER in his best interest to call the cops when he has a problem.

    And in most cases, he will be right.

  98. ECB August 4, 2012 at 7:20 am #

    This makes no sense to me. Did this cop just focus on these people because a grown man and a young girl walking together is so unusual that they just had to be the kidnapper and victim he was looking for? I could understand it if the people in the post shared a very strong physical resemblance to the people the cop was looking for. Even then, someone who has been kidnapped is not going to be skipping along playing silly games. They’re going to look scared and maybe even be crying. If that’s obvious to me, it should be much more obvious to a cop. Why was he acting like this guy is guilty? I can see doing a quick check if there is really strong physical resemblance, but it sounds like that scenario should have gone more like this:

    COP: Sorry to bother you, sir but I’m investigating a kidnapping in this area, and you and this child fit the description I’ve been given. Could I see some I.D.?

    DAD: This is my daughter, you can call my wife at such-and-such a number, she’ll vouch for me. (Hands over I.D.)

    COP: Could I ask you to step away from the girl while I check this out? (Checks the ID, calls the mother, etc…) Everything checks out, sorry to have bothered you. Have a nice day now.

    DAD: You too, officer. C’mon sweetie. (Father and daughter walk away)

    Maybe not as sugary as that, but I don’t see why this cop had to come in with lights flashing before he got a positive ID on the guy. If he had been the kidnapper, he would have realized that the jig was up and run off, or (worse) done something to endanger the child. How is that good police work?

  99. Everet August 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    @ ECB

    The was a complaint made by some one from the public about a possible kidnapping that involved the adult and child the cop stopped.

    Whats wrong with police lights flashing. Tow trucks have them and use them to avoid being hit while on the side of the road. So do Ambulances, fire truck and construction vehicles. Emergency vehicle are equip with them for a reason.

    You also say “run off, or (worse) done something to endanger the child.” So which is it.. I bet if the suspect hurt the child people on this thread would be judging the cop for not doing enough right away to separate the suspect and the child.

    You said it your self, the suspect could hurt the child.

    But what do we all know? We are all experts in some one else profession and think we can do it better.

  100. Evanston Insurance August 4, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    I’m loving it.

  101. Wilmette Insurance August 4, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    Thanks for this, go team USA.

  102. Inalienable Wrights August 4, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Regardless of the merits of this case @ ECB I think you are seeing the reaction that you are because cops 99% of the time put their noses where they do not belong, and everyone at some level knows it.

    Most laws are legal but not lawful and cops are the stupid thugs dumb enough to enforce them.

  103. Jer Gray August 4, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    I’m the dad in question in this story; to clear up a couple of things, the cop was traveling down that street in direct response to a call regarding myself and my daughter. I even heard our description being read over his radio as he got out of the car, right down to the description of the hoodie my daughter was wearing. So I don’t really blame the cop for stopping, at least; he obviously had to act on the call that came in. (Whether that was made by someone trying to make trouble, who had nothing better to do, or who couldn’t be bothered to actually observe us for more than 5 seconds I have no idea!) The problem I have with the cop’s actions is that he actually had the gall to scold me for not being thankful to him and whoever made the call for “watching out for my daughter”! Right up until he said that I had no beef with him at all. On the bright side, while my daughter does still remember this, she shows no real fear of cops, so it doesn’t seem to have affected her in any lasting fashion. Thanks for the support, everyone!

  104. pentamom August 5, 2012 at 1:47 am #

    I’ll just say this: I’m really thankful that even though I read this article several days ago, it didn’t come back to me (didn’t even cross my mind) and I didn’t worry when I let my brother-in-law put my 14 year old daughter (who looks 12 or younger) on the back of his motorcycle and drive her 15 miles to help with odd jobs at his house (supervised only by him) a couple of days later. Not to mention all the times he’s taken her out to lunch alone while she’s been helping him with an ongoing project.

    That could have been REAL ugly if suspicious minds would have been at work. At least they have the same last name. Thankfully I haven’t yet heard of any such problems around here.

  105. John Galt August 5, 2012 at 5:38 am #

    There is absolutely no excuse for the DEFCON 1 response by officer Cranky Philistine.

    Actual instances of stranger child-abduction are incredibly rare. Five times more people are struck by lightning each year than are abducted as children. Knowledge of the frequency of crimes is critical: law enforcement must have reasonable cause for any action or such actions are unconstitutional as well as unethical. He might as well justify a traffic stop as an espionage investigation.

    Plus, I would say that any tiny microscopic speck of “reasonable” suspicion would be tanked by the obvious fact that only the most retarded child abductor would do it by walking along hand-in-hand in public.

    I second Mike: The police are not your friends and they are not here to help you.

    And it’s mindlessly “pro-cop” attitudes that allow law enforcement to get away with having that anti-freedom and anti-liberty “be thankful and fearful and know-your-place, citizen” outlook.

  106. Inalienable Wrights August 5, 2012 at 7:21 am #

    I was a single male parent in the 80’s and 90’s. I would not like to repeat it in today’s atmosphere where most cops seem to have IQ’s around room temperature and also taking steroids.

  107. Mike August 5, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    I’m so glad that has never happened to me. I can tell you for a fact that if someone confronted me and demand I separate myself from MY CHILD, I would not comply. The cop would have to forcibly separate us because I will NEVER show my child that I will allow someone to demand I abandon her in a stressful situation.

  108. Donna August 5, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    “DAD: This is my daughter, you can call my wife at such-and-such a number, she’ll vouch for me. (Hands over I.D.)”

    So it is okay to require men to have women vouch for them when they are out with children?

    I’ve drug my child out of places while she was kicking and screaming bloody murder and yet I have never been confronted and required to give my husband’s name to prove that I’m her mother. Nobody called the police. Nobody questioned it. Because I’m a woman and it is understood that sometimes small children throw tantrums and need to be physically removed from a setting. In fact, I’ve removed her from the US – as a single parent with no other parent in sight – with no question as to my ability to do so.

    And my daughter and I don’t look all that similar. We have the same coloring (as did her father so not a contribution from me necessarily) but very different features. You’d likely guess her as my child in a room full of Samoans but you’d probably never pick her out as my kid in a room full of blue eyed blondes (not uncommon attributes in children).

  109. Oh Canada August 5, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    @ John Galt

    You must be an American. We treat or Cops well.

    I wonder what you do for living an how many people say you suck and which they had some one else.

  110. Oh Canada August 5, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    @John Galt,

    Your a neanderthal:

    “Actual instances of stranger child-abduction are incredibly rare. Five times more people are struck by lightning each year than are abducted as children”


    -Every 40 seconds in the United States, a child becomes missing or is abducted.

    _Stranger kidnapping victimizes more females than males, occurs primarily at outdoor locations, victimizes both teenagers and school-age children, is associated with sexual assaults in the case of girl victims and robberies in the case of boy victims (although not exclusively so), and is the type of kidnapping most likely to involve the use of a firearm.

    -Only about one child out of each 10,000 missing children reported to the local police is not found alive. However, about 20 percent of the children reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in nonfamily abductions are not found alive.”

    When an abduction occurrences the suspect will also attempt to create a bond with the child. This allows the child to be escorted out of the area with out drawing attention.

    Please know what your talking about or you will sound stupid.

    @John Galt, why don’t you became a cop.

  111. Rich Wilson August 5, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    @Oh Canada, John Galt isn’t that far off on his stats. I’d say it’s closer to four times than five, but close. Actual stranger abductions is about 100 per year. The “every 40 seconds” stat is a completely different animal, and includes run aways, custody disputes, and kids wandering off and being found an hour later.

    I didn’t find good stats for lightening strikes, but based on just injury and death, it’s about 300-400 per year.

  112. Kate August 7, 2012 at 4:05 am #

    My kids walked to the gas station next next door to get candy and were returned by the police. Another time my daughter was standing on the inside of our house in our large picture window and the police stopped to tell me (I was right in front of her). In our diverse Chicago neighborhood only my blond blue eyed kids get this treatment. They walk to school and strangers ask them where their Mom is and other parents at school, whom they don’t know, offer them a ride (it’s less than a mile). They also take public transportation and walk to the movies and they ARE the only of their friends. Parents act like I’m nuts. They’re 11 and 13 but have been walking to school since 7 and 9. Love your blog. I feel so normal. My kids have such confidence and self-assuredness because we respect and trust them.

  113. wellcraftedtoo August 7, 2012 at 7:12 am #

    I’m coming in late on this, but I am really appalled at the nutty comments about ‘feminism’ being responsible–how I have absolutely no idea–for helping to create situations like this.

    Huh? Say wha??

    Off the very top of my tired and too busy brain I can say without a shadow of a doubt that most feminists and feminist writers and thinkers, male, female, or what have you, have wholeheartedly encouraged more, not less, involvement on the part of fathers in child care and child rearing.

    That I should feel a need to write such a seemingly self-evident statement is not something I am enjoying.

    Idiocy on the part of over-zealous policing is headache- inducing enough.

    But feeling one must propound basic tenets of feminism–in a blog like this one (generally very intelligent)–is discouraging.

    Pass the Excedrin now!!

  114. Elizabeth Menes August 8, 2012 at 8:32 am #

    I was at Disneyland a few weeks ago and saw a young girl being pulled by an only slightly older boy, who looked like her brother. The girl was screaming and shrieking and hollering and the boy kept yanking at her in what seemed abusive fashion. I’m mortified to admit that I joined in the crowd’s general tsk-ing and glaring. The poor kid — more reasonably than we had any right to expect — explained that his sister was deaf, was intent on doing things near water that she knew not to do, and that he had been left in charge of her while his parents tracked down other siblings. He wasn’t much bigger than her and yanking was all he could manage. She certainly wasn’t injured as a result.

    I was mortified. We have just become so accustomed to look for “abuse” or “bullying” or whatever that we forget sometimes that childhood games and certainly childhood tantrums can be a little messy looking — just as they were when we were shrieking little brats intent on doing things we weren’t supposed to do.

  115. Libby August 8, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    Good god. Now men can’t be fathers?

  116. Warren August 17, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    In all honesty, as a father of two daughters 21 and 13 whom I have played this exact sidewalk game with, to this day, if that cop had approached me that way, I would not have moved away from MY daughter.
    After his attitude, I would have gotten his name and business card, and given him a heartfelt FU!

    I have some cops as friends, and they will be the first to tell you that you in no way have to take attitude, crap or intimidation, from a cop.
    They are not as powerful as everyone makes them out to be. They still have superiors to answer to, just like the rest of us.

  117. Ann August 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    It is not normal in my view. When I was a kid I played a similar game with my relatives or friends. I imagine that the game made you both laugh. If so, then it should not have caused any suspicion. The person who made the 911 call must suffer from a limited imagination or a poor sight. If I was a policewoman in this situation I would have felt embarrassed.
    It is doubly terrible when one is censored while doing something positive. That reminds me…I’ve been advised not to smile while taking TTC. Apparently years ago a girl who smiled to herself was thrown under the subway by a guy who thought that she was smiling at him/mocking him. Of course I refused to take the advice seriously. Who wants to prevent smiling!? I do stand closer to the walls though :).

  118. Denise August 31, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    @Yan –
    ” But can everyone here honestly say that you do your job every single day, with unfailing professionalism, courtesy, and without making a single mistake? ”

    Yes. Because I am that awesome.

  119. Warren September 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    Cops aren’t bad as a whole. There are some with power issues.

    Had this Dad been more like some of us, including me, things might have gotten ugly, and fast.

    Under such tense conditions, I would not have let go of my child’s hand. And more than likely would have been arrested, at the most for assault, at the least for failing to follow the directions of a law enforcement officer conducting his duties.

    Would have made for a very interesting trial.


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