Mom Sees Man in School Parking Lot, Calls 911 — “Why Did Cops Take So Long?!”

Readers thdzabensk
— Normally I don’t reprint whole stories from sites. Bad internet etiquette. BUT this story is so strange in its entirety, here goes:

Scary false alarm puts Primrose School of Barker Cypress in lockdown

by Tiffany Craig / KHOU 11 News

CYPRESS, Texas — A mother got quite the scare after she saw a suspicious man in her children’s school parking lot.

“There’s no words to describe it,” said Sarah Atchison. “It’s the biggest nightmare of my life.” [LENORE NOTE: HERE WE GO.]

Atchison said it started when she dropped her 2- and 4-year-olds off at Primrose School of Barker Cypress in the 16500 block of Dundee Road.

“When I parked my car, I saw him just wringing his hands pacing looking very, very anxious,” recalled Atchison. “I didn’t know what to think of him.”

She rushed her children in and told the office staff. They ended up calling 911, pulled the children off the playground and went into lockdown. [NATURALLY.]

Atchison remembered the moment when her son realized what was going on. [THE WHOLE PROBLEM IS SHE DID NOT REALIZE WHAT WAS GOING ON!]

“My son asked me is that a bad man mommy? Is he gonna go to jail?” she said. “I didn’t know what to say to him.” [HOW ABOUT, “ONLY A CRAZY PERSON WOULD THINK THAT WAY, SON”?]

So she looked out the window, noticed the man was now digging in his pockets and decided to call 911, too. [BECAUSE POCKETS = DEATH?]

“There was a point where I was begging for the police to get there because they said, ‘Do you see any weapons?’ I said, ‘No. I don’t. I don’t know what he has on him,’” Atchison said.

From the time the initial 911 call was made, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said it took a deputy 16 minutes to arrive at the school. A spokesperson explained that because no weapons were seen and it was not a life or death situation, the call was listed as a low priority. [HOW DARE THEY NOT JUMP AT THE CHANCE TO SAVE A CHILD FROM A MAN SEEN EXISTING — AND EVEN GETTING SOMETHING OUT OF HIS POCKET? IN PUBLIC, NO LESS!]

“The safety of the children is a major priority compared to having a vehicle stolen or a house broken into,” said mother Krystal Turbeville.

Luckily, it turned out to be a false alarm. The man was from the new cleaning crew and didn’t have an appointment. [THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW AGAINST MEN IN THE VICINITY OF SCHOOLS. ESPECIALLY THOSE SCARY GUYS WHO DON’T HAVE AN APPOINTMENT!]

Atchison questioned the deputy.

“I said I’ve been on the phone with you for 13 minutes and you’re just now getting here? He said ‘we’ve been kind of busy pulling a body out of a lake.’ I left. I couldn’t handle it anymore.” Atchison said. [HOW DARE THEY BOTHER WITH A PIDDLING BODY STUCK IN SOME STUPID LAKE WHEN THERE’S A CHILD WITH HIS MOM IN A PARKING LOT WITH A MAN IN IT! WHAT KIND OF COCKAMAMIE PRIORITIES DO THOSE SO CALLED “COPS” HAVE?]

No one likes to talk about the “what if,” but Atchison believes she got a glimpse and it scares her even more. [YES, IT IS REALLY SCARY TO IMAGINE SOMETHING BEYOND TERRIBLE AND THEN REALIZE IT WAS NOTHING. IN FACT, THAT’S THE SCARIEST THING OF ALL!]

Readers — is this not the strangest news story ever? It’s written as if the police were laggards because the mom was “almost” right, or at least, in theory, could have been right that the man, who never did anything weird at all, was a danger to her kids. Not to mention the whole lockdown thing. Thanks to reader Errol for sending this gem in! – L

Phew! Primrose School had a non-close call CLOSE CALL!


122 Responses to Mom Sees Man in School Parking Lot, Calls 911 — “Why Did Cops Take So Long?!”

  1. christine gill March 18, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    Yikes, we should probably all be armed against dudes with pockets.

    I despair….

  2. oncefallendotcom March 18, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    They got a cop in 13 minutes? I guess that whole internet meme about the pizza getting there faster than the cops is wrong.

  3. Snow March 18, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    My father once had an appointment that he was early for so he decided to pull into a parking lot not far from the appointment and read the newspaper. Unfortunately for him, he chose an elementary school parking lot during school hours. Yep, someone called the police.

  4. Annie March 18, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    I think we should all be thanking these police officers for realizing this woman is insane! Instead of rushing over, bringing SWAT and hauling this innocent man off for questioning, they calmly told this woman they had more important things to do. These are the kind of officers who will hesitate before taking a kid in just for playing alone outside. At least we know there are some left!

  5. Helena March 18, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    Is it possible to start posting some stories of Free Range gone right? Maybe I am just missing that section on here. This is beginning to feel a lot like the evening news or like a train wreck I just can’t turn away from. I want to spread some positivity

  6. Silver Fang March 18, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    People who abuse 911 should be publicly shamed.

  7. Patti March 18, 2013 at 8:54 am #


    Seriously -what is wrong with people 🙁

  8. Heather March 18, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    Heaven forbid the mom go talk to the man! I’m not surprised this local CBS affiliate carried this stupid story. That station is not known for good journalism at all.

  9. WendyPinNJ March 18, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    There are just no words. Really. It’s mass hysteria.

    The best part of this whole story are Lenore’s responses in brackets. Other than that, it hurts–my brain and my heart.

  10. Earth.W March 18, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    Maybe I should rock up but only when my Tourettes is mucking up. I already get parents grabbing their kids and shielding themselves between their children and myself as my body tics away.

  11. derpdedoo March 18, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    “we’ve been kind of busy pulling a body out of a lake.” I need to use that excuse more often.

  12. Sara March 18, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    So that’s why the clothing industry invented fake pockets! It’s a safety measure!

  13. Emily March 18, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    I wonder if this man still took the job on the cleaning crew at the Primrose School after this incident. I mean, what a thing to happen on your first day, eh? Also, I have to wonder what crazy, paranoid thoughts this mother has put in her kids’ head if her four-year-old son asked, “Is he a bad man, Mommy? Is he going to jail?”; when this man was just in the parking lot, not really doing much of anything.

  14. KLY March 18, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    “It’s the biggest nightmare of my life.”

    Dude. I want her life.

  15. TRS March 18, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    I think a better solution would have been for the mom to go and notify the school. They would have either known the business the man had in the parking lot or they could have approached him and asked “Is there something we can help you with?” No need for police.

  16. katrin March 18, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    Did no one think of going out to the lot to speak to this man before calling 911? A simple good morning, maybe “can I help you?” The response to this courteous interaction will tell you a lot about the man’s intent.

    My husband was on a walk during a visit to Florida and came too close to a school An administrator came out to see what he was up to. At the time, I thought this was an overreaction to male presence, but now I am glad they showed enough sense not to call 911 immediately.

  17. suzi March 18, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    I feel sorry for her kids. Can you imagine growing up in that house?

  18. TRS March 18, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    If it were a man in a ski mask, wearing body armor, and carrying a large duffel bag. That is when you call the police. If the man is sitting in the parking lot exposing himself – that is when you call the police.

  19. TRS March 18, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    I will let you know that not everyone is this hysterical but there are paranoid people that are.

    A month ago a homeless man entered our church just before our confirmation class was to begin. Did the parents get on their cells and call 911? No. The youth director approached the man and asked him if we could help him.

    The week prior our church was hosting hypothermia for the homeless and the man was just looking for shelter from the cold. The youth director did not make him feel unwelcome and drove him to the correct church that was hosting for the week.

  20. Lissa March 18, 2013 at 9:34 am #


    Seriously. Must be nice.

  21. Craig March 18, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    Wouldn’t most people have dropped their kids off and then gone up to the man and asked ‘may i help you with something’ before calling the cops?

    @TRS – yay for your story on so many levels.

  22. Captain America March 18, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    Shame the principal can’t slap her.

  23. Michelle March 18, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    @TRS, you missed the part where the mom *did* go talk to the school staff, and they called 911.

    @Annie, we can hope these cops would hesitate before freaking out over a kid doing nothing but playing outside alone, but if they are Harris County deputies, some of their co-workers definitely would not. Personal experience speaking here.

    This happened just a few miles from me. I didn’t know about it, because I refuse to watch / read the local news. Sensationalist crap. See above.

  24. Dave March 18, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    The mother should have spoken to the man herself. Where do these people live that a stranger sets them off. This woman needs more strangers in her life. Anyway Linore your comments are too funny.

  25. Cara March 18, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    I feel sorry for the poor man, who probably went through an extremely scary experience for no reason at all. But I feel extra sorry for this poor woman’s kids, who are destined for a pretty crappy childhood. If their mother panics at the mere sight of a man in the vicinity of a school, I can’t imagine they will ever be allowed to do anything fun.

  26. KP March 18, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    I’m a man and I’ve been known to have things in my pockets.

    I just called 911 on myself.

  27. SKL March 18, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    I wish I could have seen that cop’s face when he was telling her “we were kinda busy pulling a body out of a lake.” And she didn’t even get the clue. Idiot.

    It’s a sad world when an entire school full of adults doesn’t have enough collective balls to go ask the dude what he was doing there – since obviously merely standing there isn’t an acceptable pastime.

  28. Denise March 18, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    This woman is crazy. And as a society we won’t tell her that. The daycare was more concerned about keeping two kids, the police with the real crime, her friends are supporting her, the TV is supporting her, and we can’t speak up against the stream of fearmongering that is going on.

    I seriously know a woman who because a 10 year old boy had his throat slit in a bathroom in a camp ground in California in 89 thinks it’s logical and rational to make her son use the women’s room at the mall in Florida.

    I’m tired of it. Gorram tired of it.

    Sorry, I had my 18 month old walk up and give money to a local charity this weekend and got scolded for letting her do that on her own. Here I was trying to teach her that people are worth helping and getting yelled at for not teaching her to fear the random stranger.

  29. JJ March 18, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    I can’t imagine that part of this was not racial profiling. I am willing to bet that what was not included in this news story is that the man with his hands in his pockets was a person of color and this is a predominantly white neighborhood.

    And yes the fact that this is her worst nightmare tells me that she been living a charmed life.

  30. Catherine March 18, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    There was a time when this woman would have been taken in for evaluation since she clearly suffers from paranoid delusions.

  31. HH March 18, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    It didn’t occur to her to try talking to the man? Perhaps asking if he was okay might have been a good start.

  32. Charles J Gervasi March 18, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    At least the police seemed to be reasonable. They’re polite enough not to condemn the call categorically, although snidely pointed out that the were “kind of busy” with confirmed crimes to stop everything and investigate a suspicious individual.

    I get (but don’t at all agree with) the fear of men and kids. Unlike something like armed robbery, a child molester’s crime may not be immediately apparent if it happens when no adults are present.

    In this case plenty of adults were around. Why didn’t the adult management just walk up to him and ask “May I help you?” Child molesters don’t have superpowers. They operate in secrecy.

    It seems like the police are thinking, “Are you kidding me? They called us because of guy walking by a school. It’s not our place to publicly call the school officials idiots, but how stupid can they be.”

  33. lollipoplover March 18, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    @Silver Fang- she did get public shaming, she gave her name and her ridiculous story of publicly bashing the police to someone to print in the news. She should instead apologize for wasting resources.

    “It’s the biggest nightmare of my life” to see a random man near school doing nothing wrong? But she STILL dropped her kids off even though she felt unsafe? I’m not a doctor but I think this mom needs to visit one. Stat.

  34. Michelle March 18, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    I actually need to agree with Helena. I stopped looking at the mainstream news because it’s all about the negative stuff, and unfortunately as much as I love FRK, it’s starting to get there too.

  35. M March 18, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    What if it was a father of another student who lost his keys and was late to work? Wouldn’t that explain why he looked agitated and was searching his pockets?

    Or maybe he had misplaced his cell phone?

    So many logical reasons for his behavior.

    Great, she is teaching her little boy that all men are potentially dangerous, and need to be observed with suspicion. Isn’t that teaching prejudice and bigotry?

  36. pentamom March 18, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    Beautiful fisking, Lenore.

    That is just the most bizarre thing EVER. I see a man in a parking lot, looking upset, digging in his pockets, I think, “Guy is in some kind of trouble — maybe his car broke down — and can’t find his phone and maybe lost his wallet and doesn’t know what to do. Poor guy, maybe he’s one of those helpless types.”

    If I’m not comfortable going up to him and asking if something’s wrong, I go tell someone inside the school. Calling 911 for something like this would not occur to me in the entire history of life, the universe, and everything. I can’t even imagine how a mind like that works.

    Props to the cop for actually telling her they were pulling a body out of a lake. If this woman were ANYWHERE within radar range of sanity this would have shut her up, or at least calmed her down. I can imagine the hilarity around the dispatch center and the police station at the next coffee break.

  37. Filioque March 18, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    I take great comfort in reading the facebook comments at the bottom of the original news story. It’s nice to see that level-headed people are still out there! And according to one of the commenters, the volume of nasty comments on the woman’s facebook page has caused her to take her page down.

    Not that I condone making nasty comments on facebook. But I can’t help but think this woman very much deserved it!

  38. TM March 18, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    Last year I was waiting outside the elmentary school. A school I had kids in for the three previous years. I was picking up my daughter from half day preschool, Something I did four days a week for the whole year. That day I was the first parent there so I was alone and male. I think a person making a delivery went into the office and told the principle. She and a teacher came outside to investigate when they saw it was me we all had a good laugh about it.

  39. JJ March 18, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    And as for the last sentence of the article “no one wants to talk about the what if”, to that I say really? Well you could have fooled me.

  40. Jennifer Hendricks March 18, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    I agree with JJ — I would bet this man was not white.

  41. Emily March 18, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    You know, this brings up another memory. Just this past spring/early summer, right around the end of the school year, I was walking past one of my old elementary schools, and there was a class of younger kids, with a teacher, outside on the schoolyard, doing some kind of nature-based activity. As I walked past, one little boy came up to the fence, and started talking to me–“Hi, my name is RandomBoy, what’s yours? Guess where I’m going this summer?”; and so forth. I thought it was cute, and I talked with him for a few minutes before continuing on, and the teacher didn’t even look up……probably because I’m female. If a MALE passerby had done the same thing by responding to a child who’d approached him, then I bet it would have been different, and someone might have thought he was trying to “lure the boy away.”

  42. Rich Wilson March 18, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    “Luckily, it turned out to be a false alarm”

    No, reporter, “Of course it turned out to be a false alarm”.

  43. Susan March 18, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    It seems if she were not going to approach the man, it was very odd of her to drop her kids off when she thought they were in danger. Why not just leave with your kids and call the daycare center if you really thought the man was a threat?

    I don’t get it. It seems like someone who is hoping for a little excitement in her life. I would be mortified and apologetic if I called 911 over something that turned out to be a false alarm. This woman doesn’t seem to understand that she was in the wrong.

  44. SKL March 18, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    I think part of the problem is that nowadays, school property is considered to be off limits from anyone who doesn’t have specific business there. So someone just hanging around seems odd, though it shouldn’t.

  45. pentamom March 18, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    The problem with that, SKL, is that it was a daycare, not a school. A daycare should reasonably be expected to have people of both sexes coming and going throughout the day. So it wasn’t even reasonable to “wonder” why a man would be around at any given time.

    I mean, I know you said it “shouldn’t,” it’s just that I don’t think your explanation accounts for why any sane person would even think it did.

  46. TM March 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm #


    So very true. When I was in high school, I used to still visit my old middle and elementary teachers from time to time after hours, sometimes just for fun and other times because I remembered how cool it was when I was in 5th grade to see a high schooler come by to chat with the teacher for a bit. Things were already going “visitor pass” crazy when I was leaving, but when I returned from college a few years later it was crazy. The only reason I was even allowed in at all was some of the people in the office still remembered me, but I had to have a visitor pass listing the specific people I was there to see and had to display it at all times. These days I don’t even bother going for a visit when I’m home. The middle school is locked up tight and the high school I swear looks like a minimum security prison. They put up new fencing all around the property (what was once open fields), with privacy tape through the links so you cant see in. The only thing missing is the barbed wire across the top, and the man with an M16 standing guard out front.

  47. Susan March 18, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    I just watched the video from the link above. She is fighting back tears while talking about her son’s reaction to this non-event. Then her look of scorn about the deputy saying they were pulling a body out of the lake instead of responding to her report of man in parking lot-wow!

  48. Toby March 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    This story is so absurd that it’s hard to believe it’s not satire.

  49. Ravana March 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    Man, 14 minutes! My neighbor’s house got broken into and he and his son got assaulted and it took the cops 35 minutes to arrive (and he lived a five mile walk from the police department). They should have called to say a stranger was standing by children I guess.

  50. mollie March 18, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    Am I the only one celebrating the fact that the man didn’t get arrested?

  51. Jeannean March 18, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    I live in Cypress, not far from this school, and I must say it doesn’t surprise me. We have a neighborhood facebook page and the level of paranoia is astounding. Somebody once posted about a car cruising slowly through the neighborhood and turning around in a driveway. My thoughts? Must be looking for an address. The fact that it was posted was bad enough, but then somebody proceeded to comment “this crime is getting out of hand!”. So yeah, in an area where it’s a crime to be lost of course a man in a parking lot is cause for terror.

  52. pentamom March 18, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    I can’t believe the article said, “Luckily, it turned out to be a false alarm.”

    Why is it lucky that when nothing particular was going on, nothing particular was going on?

    Luckily, I didn’t fall down the steps last week and break my neck. Oh, I didn’t lose my balance or anything, it’s just that it’s lucky that didn’t happen!

  53. Abby March 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    No disrespect to whoever’s body was pulled out of a lake that day, but I actually laughed out loud at that part. The nerve of those policemen to rescue a body and initiate an investigation of an actual potential crime. There are people standing around doing nothing who must be dealt with!

  54. pentamom March 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    “No one likes to talk about the “what if,”

    Ooohhh, that’s where you’re wrong, Ms. Journalist Person. Some people like nothing better than to talk about the “what if,” even if it’s ridiculously unlikely! Some people even like to make them up, like taking an apparently confused and worried man and finding him 911-level threatening!

  55. SKL March 18, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    I just realized there was a linked video. Wow, that woman showed herself to be even more idiotic than I thought. I hope she is proud of the way she dissed the cops for pulling a body out of a lake instead of harassing a harmless guy in a parking lot. Something tells me she’s going to be hearing from a lot of more level-headed people in the near future.

    Feeling sorry for the family of the person whose body was pulled out of the lake. I honestly want to slap that woman for her attitude about it. This is about the cops not kissing her arse fast enough, nothing more.

  56. Julie C March 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    This reminds me of something that happened in my town a couple of years ago. A child reported that a man was attempting to get her into his car as she stood near the middle school (after school). The district put out an email to all parents advising them of an “attempted abduction” and to look out for a specific car. The alleged abductor was also a parent and read the description and realized he was the guy! The girl had been standing at a crosswalk waiting for her mother to pick her up. He had thought she was trying to cross the street, so he waved at her several times, to let her know he was stopped to let her cross. She ran away and he drove to his house.

    Bizarre. Thankfully the guy called the school and told them what had happened and they had to quickly pull the alert and calm people down.

  57. JJ March 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    I just watched that video too and I am having some very ungenerous thoughts. She is so self righteous, throwing out the k-card. (K being “kids”). If it involves kids, especially her kids the police better get there pronto. Didn’t the police hear her? She said kids! Not some lousy non-kid related crime. Kids for crying out loud.

  58. lollipoplover March 18, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    Best comment on Facebook about this story:
    “At least the children are now safe from clean schools.”

  59. SKL March 18, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    I was wondering what dangerous chemicals that dude was plotting to use. I can just feel my blood pressure going up.

  60. Nicky March 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    My school VP talked about something like this. He had to sub for the Kindergarten class and it was pick up time. This big six foot monster of a man, covered in tattoos and wearing biker style clothing walks up to the kindergarten. The other teacher (also a sub) runs to get the phone but before she gets to it the man reaches the VP. Clears his throat and in a calm, polite voice says “I’m here to pick up my daughter.”

    A little girl all in pink exclaims “Daddy! Look at what I did!” And shows him her painting. They then walk off together.

    Next day he talks to the real teacher, the guy always picks up his daughter because his wife’s job isn’t flexible enough. The teacher claims is also the politest parent this year. Moral: scary men have children too. Also men can be involved in their kids lives.

  61. Jenny C March 18, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    Texas? A man who is part of the cleaning crew? No one seemed willing to speak to him directly before calling the cops? I’m with JJ and a few others to say it’s a guarantee this man was being profiled. You know all those Mexicans are criminals and illegals to boot! And I’m sure he wouldn’t understand you speaking to him in English! “Think of the children!” is a ruse to cover up your racism, lady.

    I wonder what the fine citizens of Cypress who were the victims of an actual crime that day, like say having a vehicle stolen or a house broken into, would say to the 2nd mom quoted, the one who says those aren’t priorities compared to something that isn’t really happening, nearby some children who aren’t being hurt.

  62. pentamom March 18, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    “compared to something that isn’t really happening, nearby some children who aren’t being hurt.”

    Something that isn’t really happening OUTSIDE a building in which the kids are all INSIDE under the care of adults whose specific job it is to make sure they’re taken care of.

    Utter and complete madness. It’s hard to compare such rank stupidity, but Krystal Turbeville’s defense of the situation is possibly even stupider than the situation itself. Of course the safety of children is generally higher priority than responding to an auto break-in, but these Texas children’s safety was no more at risk from this than from a mountain lion roaming the wilds of Montana (while they were inside their daycare in Texas.) Is someone else saying something scares them now all it takes for people’s brains to shut down completely?

  63. pentamom March 18, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Oh, and one could get a few minutes of entertainment imagining what Krystal Turbeville’s reaction would have been if it had been HER house broken into and the police first had to respond to a report of a man standing outside a building doing absolutely nothing. Even though burglaries are usually not highly time-sensitive, you can just bet she would have been screaming if her situation hadn’t been the first priority. After all, children LIVE in her house!

  64. Katie March 18, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    Typical helicopter parent. Everyone is out to get them and their child.

    It reminds me of an incident I was unlucky enough to witness. Helicopter mom decides that her perfectly able children are to unable/to important/??? to walk 50 feet from the parking lot so parks in handicap space along with other similar helicopter parents who take all spaces which is about 10 spaces. 80 year old couple who are actually handicap and actually needs the space comes along and seeing no handicap sign or person honks and yells at helicopter mom. Helicopter mom gets the staff and other helicopter mom’s excited and they all go and call the police and tells some embellished version of what actually happened. Three police officers come and show up at the pool where the 80 year old man is pull him out of the pool and drag him into an office.

  65. SKL March 18, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    Pentamom, that would be delicious. Part two of the story! Narcissistic hag is in tears over the complete lack of 24/7 surveillance over her house. It’s time they hired more police officers if they can’t handle all her priorities!

  66. Willie March 18, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    Anyone want a tour of the area? I bet Sarah the Realtor would be happy to drive you around for awhile at no cost.

  67. hineata March 18, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    The ‘give blood’ ad at the beginning of that link was the best part of the piece! That little girl was gorgeous…..

    Onto the total nonstory – does anyone remember ‘Flying High’? And the wonderful part where there’s a hysterical woman, and the other passengers line up to slap her with an ever-increasingly scary range of implements……Time for a real-life re-enactment, methinks!

  68. Heath March 18, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    I’m surprised she didn’t add that along with “wringing his hands” and “pacing back-and-forth”, the man was also twirling his mustache, while wearing a big, black top hat.

  69. hineata March 18, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    Also, is there some school or farm somewhere where anchorwomen are bred? Probably just an accent thing, but I swear they all sound the same, right down to the same frighteningly serious tone of voice, whether they’re describing an actual train wreck, or a moron seeing things in a parking lot.

    Which reminds me – there is a brown person sitting at the other a few feet away from me, gesticulating in a threatening manner, and waving a dangerous-looking implement at me…Someone could get hurt – there are children around. I wonder how long it will take the police to get here? I’m absolutely terrified…what should I do?

    Oh, damn…………., turns out it’s my son, eating his Weetbix. 🙂 I was so sure I had a good sound bite on my hands – though I am nowhere near as blond as ‘Krystal.

  70. pentamom March 18, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    Oh, I’m putting this here just to see if Lenore will pick it up:

    Baby Blue from 3/11-3/15 a storyline about the son, Hammie, who’s about 7 or 8, using the men’s room by himself. I was pretty annoyed to read it the first day, when the Mom says, “The Ladies room is safer!” but it went uphill from there. I can’t figure out whether the mom’s nervousness about letting him do it was being mocked or sympathized with.

  71. Michelle March 18, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    @Dave: “Where do these people live that a stranger sets them off.”

    Oh, only in a very safe and relatively crime-free suburb of an incredibly diverse major metropolitan city (with an international port), in one of the friendliest states in the country. So, you know, you can understand why they’d be so terrified of strangers. 🙁 Lunatics, the lot of them!

    Most of us Houstonians are NOT that ridiculous. Just for the record.

    @Nicky, that so easily could be my husband. He’s only 5’9, but he’s very broad-shouldered, tatted up, with a big scraggly beard. He also thinks it’s amusing to walk around with a mad look on his face, because then he looks scary. When he smiles, he’s given away, and you can believe he’s a devoted father of seven (including three daughters). Most people are still surprised to learn that he’s also a highly-paid technical professional. 😉

  72. Shawn Ryan March 18, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    That’s it….I’m getting rid of my pockets!

  73. Andy March 18, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    Hey hineata, I think the movie you’re thinking about is “Airplane”. If so then I think the lady in the story” picked the wrong day to give up sniffing glue.”

  74. Warren March 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    Why on earth wouldn’t the lead be “Paranoid Mother wastes thousands in taxpayer’s dollars”?

    Again, another 911 caller allowed to abuse the system without any accountability. Would love to see her receive a bill for the officer’s time, just like when you pull a false fire alarm and get caught.

    Would have been nice if the dispatcher had asked if the lady saw a giant white rabbit, with a tophat and pocket watch?

  75. Warren March 18, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    It was Airplane, but it was Lloyd Bridges’ character in the traffic tower with the addiction problem.

  76. hineata March 18, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    @Andy – I was going to say that ‘Airplane’ must have been the serious version, but evidently they re-titled it to ‘Flying High’ in Australia, NZ, South Africa and a few other places. Goodness knows why, but a great movie regardless!

  77. BL March 18, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    I’ve heard that some localities have started charging “crash taxes” to respond to traffic accidents – regardless of fault.

    This is the sort of thing people should be charged for: wasting police time with truly baseless calls. To say nothing of the school lockdown.

  78. Frau_Mahlzahn March 18, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    “derpdedoo, on March 18th, 2013 at 9:09 am Said:

    “we’ve been kind of busy pulling a body out of a lake.” I need to use that excuse more often.”

    Lol — completely agree, why didn’t I think of that yet, ;-)?

  79. Donald March 18, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    I wonder how many worried mothers are armed? I wonder how long it will take before an innocent person will get shot?

  80. JJ March 18, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    Hineata, it was Airplane and yes I remember!

  81. Crystal March 18, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    This reminds me of that scene from “The Help,” where Hilly uses the line, “I would do ANYTHING to protect our children,” in order to justify her blatant racism, arrogance and domineering attitudes. Maybe this chick could audition for the part of Hilly’s understudy in the sequel?

  82. hineata March 18, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    @Donald – I actually wondered the same thing myself. And while I keep boring everyone senseless with my reactions to the Second Amendment, you’d think that more people would be using those guns they’re entitled to. Seems like a waste of good old civil rights, not to pull/use them occasionally…..

    God help the poor male lost/hanging out/minding their own business in car parks and other public places. Let’s just hope they’re

    a/armed themselves and

    b/quicker draws, LOL!

  83. Donald March 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    You can’t cure the fear hysteria by using more fear hysteria. It takes self control to combat the problem. This is the same as a rash. You can’t cure a rash by scratching it off. You can only make it worse. Although it itches, you must have self control and don’t just give in and scratch it.

  84. delurking March 18, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    You all have to give huge props to the author of the article here. It is just brilliant in both content and tone.

  85. pentamom March 18, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    The “serious version,” if you can call such schlocky melodrama serious, was “Airport.”

  86. CrazyCatLady March 18, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    The ironic thing is…if he was profiled as being of a different race than the white woman, it IS silly because apparently she doesn’t listen to the news.

    All the guys I know about who have shot up schools (Columbine, Stockton, the Amish School, Newtown) were all white.

  87. Puzzled March 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    I’m shocked about this story. I worked in Harris County (for an agency that no longer exists, if that helps) and I never thought of the deputies there as particularly level-headed. But here, they get a call from a school, followed by a call from a citizen. A call from a school is usually taken seriously, but here we also have ‘multiple calls.’ I’m impressed that they didn’t send a SWAT team, especially in these post-Sandy Hook, pre-other incident to distract people, times.

  88. MaeMae March 18, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    Lenore, I have to say that this is some seriously funny writing. You made me laugh so much. 😀

    That woman is insane.

  89. SKL March 18, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    I suddenly want to hear the tape of the 911 call. That would probably explain how the cops decided not to burn any rubber getting over there.

  90. Kimberly March 18, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    I have unfortuantly had to call Harris County Sheriff’s Office many times.
    – weird guy parked in my driveway and refused to let me out until I gave him the furniture I had stored in my garage because his sister needed it. – Response time 5 minutes

    – house robbed – robbers long gone 15 – 20 minutes

    -People jumping over fences from yard to yard (the way my house and 6 neighbors were robbed about a month before – 5 min robbers but couldn’t prove they were the same ones)

    -People using elementary aged kids to panhandle at the intersection of a 7 lane state HW and a 5 lane Farm to Market Road 50 mph zone (5 min)

    -Drunk neighbor hit lightpole knocking it over onto my driveway. He was wandering around with blood dripping down his face. 10 min and they got the lightpole moved out of my driveway so I could go to work the next day.

    Sounds like they gave this call the credit it deserved.

    Several years ago a parent walked into my room and asked to speak to me privately. She said a man she did not know (type of mom who knows all the kids and all the parents can find something good to say about everyone) was arguing with himself the the garden (our school is built around a garden). Did I know him or did she need to go get the principal?

    I looked outside to be sure, because I thought I knew who it was. I told her it wasn’t a problem that was our new resident cyborg – aka the supervisor of the renovations that were supposed to have been completed several weeks before. We called him the cyborg because he had a blue tooth device in his ear ALL THE FREAKING TIME. You would be talking to him and he would suddenly start yelling things that didn’t make sense because he as talking to someone on the blue tooth thing. (Note this was when blue tooth something rare.)

    Note the difference
    1. she took care to NOT scare the kids about the scary man (and he was inside the school.

    2. She told a staff member what she saw

    3. Staff member check before going hysterical and triggering a lockdown.

  91. ValerieH March 18, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

    That woman reminded me of the nosy neighbor on Bewitched. The difference is that Edna Kravitz actually saw all kinds of weird things. This woman needs some counseling. I wonder how much of this false alarm do the police have to deal with. I wonder if these incidents are tracked.

  92. Conuly March 18, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    *checks calendar*

    Nope, still not April. Damn, it’s for *real*?

  93. bmj2k March 19, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    This woman will still be doing the same thing when her kids are 34 and a suspicious man is standing next to a dryer at the laundromat.

  94. Tammy March 19, 2013 at 12:21 am #

    Call me crazy, but I would have just gone up to the guy and asked him if he needed something. It is amazing what the mind can conceive when you believe the worst in people. I work with kids all day, every day and the worst thing we can instill into our children is fear. It is so debilitating and very difficult to weed out once its roots have gone deep. A healthy understanding of managing yourself and personal safety; yes. Fear of everything unknown; no.

  95. JTW March 19, 2013 at 1:22 am #

    sadly such incidents are not rare at all. It’s become a serious hazzard for a man alone (especially an unmarried man, but any man) to come within a hundred meters of a school or playground. Chances are high you’ll end up on a “pedophile registry” maintained by some vigilante group, and end up harassed and getting death threats until you change your name, have major plastic surgery, and flee the country.
    And police cooperate in this, often arresting men for no other reason than “suspicious behaviour”, charging you with “child abuse”, and putting you out to dry before dropping the charges without removing your name from their own “pedophile watch list”.
    Result of that is usually that you’ll be kicked out of your home and city because of “resident concerns about the nearby pedophile” and find it impossible to settle anywhere else because whereever you go you face the exact same thing.

  96. amy March 19, 2013 at 2:30 am #

    @KP who called 911 on himself for being a man and having weird things in his pockets: HA HA HA! Best comment ever!

  97. Per March 19, 2013 at 6:25 am #

    My guess is this woman did not freak out because he “looked suspicious”, but because of the color of his skin. The paper chose not to mention this because the prefered to angle the story towards a “frightened mother” rather than a “racist crazy woman”.

  98. Heather March 19, 2013 at 6:28 am #

    The block I used to live in had a couple of trees in a raised bed between it and the train station 5 mins walk away, so lots of us walked by there every day. That raised bed was just at the right height for sitting and chatting on summer evenings, and a group of older men used to do that every night. I used to say good evening to them, and got chatting to them quite often.

    One day, I made it to a resident’s meeting, and one of my neighbours asked if there was anything we could do to stop the ‘gang’ from hanging around outside the block. Others chipped in to say that they were also nervous about passing the group.

    The manager said there was nothing we could do: they were sitting in a public space and doing no harm.

    I cracked and told her that if she said good evening as she passed, she’d find they were just hanging out and good people.

    They were mostly from the Caribbean (I live in London), but honestly, 50-70 year old men do not become a gang just because they are sitting in a group *sigh* It’s perfectly normal to sit out on the porch or in your yard and chat to passers-by in Trinidad, which is where most of them were from. I’m pretty sure it used to be normal in every warm climate, before air-conditioning.


  99. Ben March 19, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    It won’t take much longer until that woman’s little boy grows up and will get the police called on him for hanging around acting suspiciously. I wonder if helicopter mom would scold the police again or punish the kid for trying to have a life…

  100. Stacey March 19, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    The worst part is this story is pitched like we’re supposed to be upset that police took a quarter of an hour (which isn’t all that long) to respond to a call about a man standing in a parking lot doing nothing while the kids were all safely inside with a bunch of adults. Even if the man had happened to be a pedophile WHAT WAS HE GOING TO DO? The kids were all surrounded by adults. And then we’re supposed to sympathise when the woman tearfully recalls her son asking if the man is a bad man. Did the kid have a reason to think that other than adults freaking out about it? And then it ends by going “luckily it was a false alarm, but aren’t you upset that something bad might have happened?” maybe i would be if there was ever at any point a chance something bad was going to happen. yeesh, i was at a bar the other day, seventy dollars fell out of my wallet, i got it back after, but i think i had more of a reason to be upset than if an innocent stranger with no ill-intent whatsoever was standing outside. i was drunk and i still didn’t get as upset as this woman did. i almost lost 70 dollars, she almost lost ABSOLUTLY NOTHING CAUSE THE MAN IN THE PARKING LOT WAS NEVER GOING TO DO ANYTHING HARMFUL! What is with the mentality that we should be upset because a stranger was present, even when he was completely harmless? Are we supposed to think that if he had had weapons, something awful would have happened because the police didn’t get there fast enough? by that logic should i phone police every single time i see someone i don’t know, just in case? Everyone is a stranger to someone, presumably police should constantly supervise all of us, if simply seeing someone unfamiliar is that utterly terrifying.

  101. Jenna K. March 19, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    It must be hard to live life as though everyone around you is doing something suspicious.

  102. Sarah March 19, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    BMJK said- This woman will still be doing the same thing when her kids are 34 and a suspicious man is standing next to a dryer at the laundromat.

    You really think that she would allow her precious 34 year old babies to use a laundomate?

  103. kimberly m March 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    Looks like her husband is a MLB player, so perhaps that’s why this story is spun with such importance. And with him not being around home and in NYC & FL, perhaps her paranoia gets the best of her. Either way, it’s absolutely sad and frightening that we’ve turned into this society. I’ve taught my daughter to say, “Hello!” to all strangers, and we’ve made more friends than I could imagine through that simple greeting. This is just sad.

  104. Deborah March 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    Here’s a situation where one human being reaching out and talking to another human being would have solved the “problem”. God forbid, we should ask someone if they need help, are lost, etc! Why can’t we just talk to one another like civilized people?….oh yeah, maybe we’re not so civil anymore.

  105. Warren March 19, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    Maybe they should start fining these paranoid 911 callers.

    Misuse of emergency services, creating a public disturbance, verbal assualt (of the cop) or something. If they start doing that it may just make these people think before jumping the………..dare I say it…………..gun.

    This 911 call ranks right up there with the ones you hear about in the news gag reels, like a drunk wanting the police to get him smokes.

    In a law abiding society we are held accountable for our actions, and this should include the reporting of a crime.

  106. missjanenc March 19, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    We all need to call the school and ask them to pass a message on to Loony Tunes that she is whacko, tell the school to grow a pair and email them a link to this page, complete with Lenore’s comments – and ours.

  107. JulieD March 19, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Ok. I admit it. I laughed at Lenore’s comments. Seriously hilarious. I understand the media feel like they have to make everything out to be sooper-scary-dangerous! in order to hype up the public but come on. This is beyond paranoid-land and solidly in whackadoodle country.

  108. missjanenc March 19, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    If you click onto the story and scroll down to the comments most people also think she’s an idiot. Seriously though, Lenore should send Mommy Dearest an autographed copy of her book in care of the school address.

  109. babygurljrl March 19, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

    I would be too freakin embarrassed to call the police over a stranger simply standing in a parking lot looking distressed…I live in Nb, Canada and that stuff rarely ever happens..then again i can walk right in my sons school with nothing more then a nod to the secretary on my way by.. Mass paranoia just doesnt exist here on that level..thank god!!

  110. Andy Harris March 19, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    I wrote to Tiffany Craig, the reporter who wrote the story at KHOU. I wrote: “I just read “Scary false alarm puts Primrose School of Barker Cypress in lockdown,” and I must ask: Did anyone at anytime ever think that the mother and the school were a bunch of shrieking hysterics? The police were absolutely correct to place this “crime” at the lowest part of their priority list. Maybe KHOU should have as well.”

    Her response was “I don’t take sides in stories. I just report them.” However, the reporting style was just as hysterical as the mother in the story. I guess scary stories really do sell.

  111. Jenny Islander March 20, 2013 at 1:33 am #

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: if the biggest nightmare of your life is seeing a stranger in a public area that you also frequent, and you’re a parent . . . either you have no imagination or you need to talk to a psychiatrist about your severe free-floating anxiety.

    I wonder if the poor guy was going “Hocrap I forgot my badge, I forgot my badge . . . I left my (cell phone/wedding ring/coat/glasses) in there during the interview, but they aren’t going to let me in without my badge . . . what to do, what to do . . . ” Or maybe he locked himself out of his car!

  112. Warren March 20, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    This reminds me of a scene in the movie The Hunt for Red October…………hang in with me for a second.

    An american jet and a russian jet got too close to each other, and the american jet crashed on the carrier. The Skipper of the carrier, knowing that tensions were high, and the stress levels magnified, basically said “this is going to get out of control, and their is nothing we can do about it, and people will die.”

    Post Sandy Hook it is now happening in our schools and parking lots. Given this mother’s level of fear and anxiety what if she herself had been carrying a concealed firearm?
    Would she have still acted the same way or could their have been a different outcome?

  113. marie March 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Given this mother’s level of fear and anxiety what if she herself had been carrying a concealed firearm?
    Would she have still acted the same way or could their have been a different outcome?

    Gee Warren, I dunno. Maybe you should call the cops on her just to be sure. You know, for the same reason she called the cops: because her imagination ran away with her, just as yours is doing with the idea of a gun.

  114. Warren March 20, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

    That’s cute Marie.

    Let’s look at it.

    State of Texas, a state in which guns are a religion as much as they are a weapon.

    This lady is not stable by any means or standard.

    She was terrified of this man.

    Fear motivates people to do things, they wouldn’t normally do, under any other circumstances.

    Before it gets better………some innocent MAN is going to be shot in or near a school. I can see it coming. If you can’t then you are in denial. Guns, fear, and media bombardment all combined is a recipe for disaster.

  115. Staceyjw March 22, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    To those who wonder when someone is gonna get shot- boys and men DO get shot, just for looking suspicious.
    They are all black, and are shot/beat/abused BY COPS.
    There is a deadly effect to this hate, fear, and paranoia, and its killing our African American boys and men, and hurting men in general.

    When I read this I wondered why she didn’t bother to tam to the guy, and if she was so scared, why didn’t she drive away? If I actually feared a shooting, I would never go into the building in question.

    It reminds me of the time a neighbor called the cops on us because we let our kids play outside alone (ages 4-11!) in our FRONT YARD. If this neighbor was so worried, why not just walk over and talk to the kids? if its scary enough to call the cops/CPS, it should be worth a walk to the house too.

  116. Kara March 23, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    My husband was in a fast food restaurant once when a man came in with his hand in his pocket and told the cashier to give them all of his money. My husband was next to the exit door and slipped out to call 911. It took TEN rings before the operator picked up and then my husband had to repeat 3 times that he needed the police because there was a robbery in progress( we don’t know if the man was armed because he was gone by the time police arrived). The police arrived less than 2 minutes after the man left, meaning that they would probably have been on time if the 911 operator had been able to answer the call on time. The same (probably) man had robbed two other stores that morning. He was never caught. I can’t help but think it was because the 911 operators are too busy dealing with fake calls about “bad” men in parks and school parking lots to be able to actually deal with real threats.

  117. Warren March 23, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

    I looked up this wonderful mother of 2, on facebook. She has yet to respond to my questions.

  118. Debi March 25, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    This woman made a judgement call. She did the right thing by following her instincts. Even if she was wrong and getting hysterical she should have been listened to and taken seriously.Just maybe, if someone in authority had taken over and talked to the man or helped her to calm down things might not have gotten out of hand. We don;t always know the whole story. Where do they live? What else was happening to her that day? I once had a meltdown because my 9 year old got out of my sight at the grocery. Something he did all the time with no problems. But that was also the day I buried my husband and all my emotions finally burst out. Unless you know she is always over reacting leave her alone.

  119. Warren March 25, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    Sorry about your lose, that is horrible.

    Unfortunately that was alot different than what happened in Houston.

    She berated the cops when they arrived, hours later she was on the news still unstable.

    I do not care how bad a day you are having, it does not give you the right to accuse an innocent man of wrong doing.
    She made a judgement call, based on nothing but paranoia and insanity. When it was all over, had she apologized for over reacting, I may have given her the benefit of the doubt.
    She did not, and still believes she is some sort of hero, and that the police are morons.
    Luckily for this man, the police didn’t react the way she wanted them to. Otherwise an innocent man would have been thrown to the ground at gunpoint.

  120. JP March 26, 2013 at 12:38 am #

    Looks like a case of simple EWM to me.
    That’s “Existing, While Male.” Make that adult male.
    (or at least over the age of 11…that would qualify for middle school.)
    I sure like the comment about why didn’t she go up and find out what was up with him?
    Apparently….he was a threat to her, too? Some sort of misplaced ped threat to her infintile mentality?

    Do we now need to have caretakers show up wearing Gucci suits, Armani shades, Italian leather shoes, Rolex watches, stepping high and fine out of a Porsche? Betcha had he done that little thing, he could have stood there and wrung his manicured hands all day long and not a peep out of her or anyone else.
    Instead of o lord – it’s the hired peasant help. They’re all murderers.

    Funny how it works. The crazier they get, the more it just releases my inner sarcastic self. (The kind that used to give my kids giggle fits.) Luvly sound, that…….

  121. Warren March 28, 2013 at 10:23 am #


    Probably be best if we just issued all males, once they hit puberty, dept. of corrections orange jumpsuits. Must wear in public, no exceptions.

  122. Barbur March 29, 2013 at 2:21 am #

    Oh my god, I seriously thought this was from The Onion at first! First time I’ve LOL’d all day. I don’t care who you are, this is just comedy gold.