Readers — It’s great to be neighborly and share info. It’s less great when little blips turn into fears turn into anger turn into the quote in the headline, which comes to us from this Facebook exchange, sent in by a reader named Adam Parson (who deleted all the other last names). – L
Cathy: Just an FYI, there was a silver/gray mid size car sitting at the bus stop this morning, car running and headlights on. When I got to the stop with my child, the car slowly pulled up, drove around the cup-de-sac, and left. I couldn’t see much because the windows were foggy but there was a guy driving and it didn’t appear there was anyone else in the car. My initial thought was it was someone leaving flyers or something but he didn’t stop at the mailboxes or get out of the car. My neighbor across the street confirmed that he had been just sitting there for a while. Got the feeling he definitely wasn’t here for anyone on this street and it made us uncomfortable. Please watch your children at the bus stops in the morning. Especially now when it is so dark.
- Jill: Creepy…
- Bryan: Corner him and confront him next time
- Joyce: Good to know. We will be watchful.
- Adam A. Parson: Devil’s Advocate: What if the dude was just lost and looking up directions? Or maybe using the phone instead of doing it while driving? I’ve done that myself and I would be a little grumpy if I had everyone thinking I was a creeper or even calling the sheriff on me.
- Joelle: Good observation, much better to be safe than sorry especially when it comes to our kids!! Way to look out for everyone!!
- Cathy: When it comes to the safety of our children and a possible threat to them, I would rather error on the side of caution than give the benefit of the doubt. And if it were me, I would completely understand that people were being cautious because of the children. It takes one second for something disastrous to happen. Better to be safe than sorry.
- Adam A. Parson: To each their own. I’m just trying not to perpetuate the culture of fear which has already gotten so bad that we look suspiciously upon any stranger – especially when its a man.
- Cathy: Let me ask, do you have children?
- Bryan: The market for “Not a Rapist” bumper stickers should be ripe for the picking then.
- Cathy: Nice. Obviously you either don’t have kids or you live in a fantasy world. If you do have kids, I hope they survive your lack of parental concern.
- Adam A. Parson: Yes, I have two boys ages 11 and 13
- Adam A. Parson: I don’t have a lack of parental concern, nor live in a fantasy world, just one that doesn’t involve living in constant fear. I’m really not trying to get into an argument about who is a better or worse parent, just trying to state that a guy in car does not a kidnapper make.
- Cathy: Adam, my second response was directed to the comment regarding rapists bumper stickers. Though I am concerned at your lack of concern. No, I do not know why the guy was there. I did not call the sheriff. I did however take the responsibility to alert the rest of the parents out here because it did make me as well as my neighbor very nervous. The majority of us out here take this seriously and do want a heads up so we can keep an extra eye out. I’m not handing the guy a guilty sentence. I’m exercising caution in an out of the normal situation. No matter how you paint it, a guy sitting in a running car at a bus stop on a small dead end street in the dark at the ungodly hour that the bus comes is a tad suspicious. I, as a parent, would expect that other parents who feel something may be suspicious post it here so I can be aware. The point of this page is for us all to communicate with each other. That includes communicating points of concern. And I fully believe this was a point of concern. Again, when it comes to the kids, it’s better to be over cautious than to let something happen that could have been prevented just by keeping an eye out. You don’t have to go running up to the car yelling and accusing. Just keep an eye out. Isn’t the safety of the kids worth being a little extra aware of the situation???
- Joelle: ^Well said and I agree completely^
- Adam A. Parson: Well I’m concerned that you’re concerned about my perceived lack of concern. Again, I’m not trying to fight. I was just giving a counter point. So, to therefore pass judgment on me is ridiculous. They’re your kids, do what you want. Some parents will agree with you, some will agree with me. C’est la vie.
Statistically speaking, the kids are fine and will never be the victim of a crime. People are no more or less ‘crazy’ now then when we were kids – no matter what the news and our parents would have us believe.
And, that’s all I have to say about that.
- Jimmy: I appreciate the head’s up. While I don’t want to jump to conclusions and convict an innocent person, I am glad to live in a neighborhood where people alert one another to suspicious activity – especially when it pertains to our children.
- Jackie: Thank you Cathy for the info! As a college graduate with a bachelors degree in criminal justice, a past police/fire dispatcher, and more importantly…A PARENT of an adorable, friendly, independent, and very adventurous little boy I am constantly “prejudging” and “overreacting”. I get suspicious of the weekly scavengers! I am uncomfortable with the amount of traffic on a cul de sac! Sure, it’s quite possible that they’re out for a drive just checking out the lots for sale, admiring my neighbors fountain, or even lost…However, it is also possible that they are scoping out our children!! My son is only 4, and I have pretty much put the fear of God in him about strangers! It’s a constant conversation (especially lately) that is not at all sugar coated! He knows that there are very bad people that can take him and hurt him. I’ve told him that he would never see us again, and reminded him that there’s not a thing in the world that a stranger offers him (candy, puppy, bike, etc) that we can’t give him. I also told him that “crazy people” have Spiderman webs and even if you just walk up to their car, they can spin a web and get you! Over dramatic? Maybe… but I would rather scare my child than put flyers up with his picture on it! let me also remind you that there is a substantial amount of crime that doesn’t make it to the 6 o’clock news…
- Lisa: I think it’s great that we have so many people in the neighborhood that look out for one another! It’s in places sometimes that u least expect but bad things do happen and it’s better to be safe then sorry. My kids are my life so if something is out of the norm it’s nice to know we can all count on each other to keep us informed. Thank you!
- Adam A. Parson: Again, we’re kind of missing the boat, there was nothing inherently suspicious, creepy or dangerous about what this poor soul was doing. I’d be willing to bet that he pulled away because he saw parents and kids and didn’t want to be accused of the very thing that he has been accused of.
I know I’m not changing minds here, but I’ll keep on fighting the belief that our children are in constant danger.
Lenore here: I’d love to see this whole exchange studied in some anthropology course. It’s such a pristine example of the sanctimony, self-righteousness and suspicion that are one of the hallmarks of early 21st century America. Thanks, Adam, for documenting this chat — and wading in!