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We MUST protect our children

When I read this article from Silicon Valley Moms Blog it made my skin crawl and the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.

Some of you might remember when we had our own brush with the super creepy guy at Books-A-Million.

Repost from January:

This is where the day took a HUGE nosedive. I promised the kids I would take them to the bookstore…a GOOD bookstore….and we went to the Books-A-Million at our mall. We’re in the kid’s section, the girls are playing with a table of trains they have set up and Nathaniel’s playing his Nintendo DS and I’m just sitting….trying to catch my breath from that whole shoe extravaganza. This other little boy kicks up a conversation with Nathaniel and they start comparing Pokemon, sharing tricks of the games, talking a little smack…all good fun. Then this guy sitting across from us tries to join in the conversation. Now, I’m sitting right there, less than an arms-length from Nathaniel and this guy starts trying to talk to the boys. He’s asking them all sorts of Pokemon questions, talking about how good he is at the game, how he has all the newest games before they come out in the States because he gets them straight from Japan, how he knows how to get them for free. I’m looking at this guy, and I’m thinking “Wow, dude, you need to get a life! These are kids, they’re allowed to be obsessed, you’re a little crazy.”

But I have this weird creepy feeling about this guy, just watching and listening to his conversation.

He drops the bomb.

He says, “You know, they have those games here, and a really good Pokemon book section…I COULD TAKE YOU OVER THERE AND SHOW YOU WHERE THEY ARE!”

What? What was that?? They don’t carry video games in the bookstore. And did you just ask my kid to walk away with you??? Are you kidding me?

Ok…that’s the moment when Mama Bear Mayhew came unhinged. I went off on this guy. I tore him a new one, I raked him up one side and down the other. It was ugly, but it was all I could do not to physically attack this guy. I grabbed all three of my kids and stormed off, I went straight to the manager and told him exactly what happened. I’m sure he already knew that he had a crazy lady screeching in the children’s department, but I let him know why. He went over and came back and asked me to describe the guy…would you believe that he was STILL sitting in the kid’s section?

They ended up calling security and having him thrown out of the mall. I was so freaked out that all I wanted to do was get my kids the heck out of that mall. I practically ran out of there with my three in tow. Once in the car, after having a long talk with the kids reaffirming the danger of strangers and what not to do and what to do, I hauled butt out of the mall.

I kicked myself in the butt the rest of the afternoon for not calling the police and at least giving a report of the guy and getting his information. I may have totally over-reacted, but in my gut, I know this guy was up to something bad. I wish I’d taken the time to calm down and stayed long enough to see what security did, but I just wanted my kids safe and far away.

Um, yeah.  What I didn’t know at the time was that if I’d called the police, they could have charged him with attempting to lure a child. Ok, let the self-butt-kicking commence again.

If you read the Silicon Valley Moms post at the top, you’ll get more info on Bill 1738, The Protect Our Children Act.  But the basic point is that this bill is in the Senate RIGHT NOW and will expire on 9/29.  It will provide funding for police departments to use in the fight to stop pedophiles and sexual predators from hurting more children.  Using this Oprah link, you can find how to write your Senator and tell them that you want them to vote YES on this bill.

Because if anyone ever lays a hand on one of my kids, you can bet I’ll be blogging from prison.

16 Comments on “We MUST protect our children”

  1. #1 Double Agent Girl
    on Sep 18th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    OMFG. I had something like that happen with my kids once. We were walking down the street, and this scary dirty guy came up and said to me:
    “Mind if I walk with you and watch your children frolic?”
    My response was something like “mind if I punch you in the *$*^&%&( face???”

    Double Agent Girls last blog post..Photography Thursday

  2. #2 alayna
    on Sep 18th, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    The other day we took our kids to Chuck E Cheese’s, and there was this guy there who totally creeped me out! And I’ve always felt so safe in CEC’s b/c of the hand stamp and all that. But this guy was there at the birthday party of a little girl, and I don’t know if he was slightly mentally challenged or just socially awkward, he was probably somewhere between 18-25, but he kept climbing up in the riding rides next to Joey & Lily!!! Made the hair stand up on the back of my neck!! Joey was happy just sitting in this car without it actually running, and this guy would climb in and put in a token and sit next to him! Steve & I were glued to them the entire time – we should have told him to back off, but we’re too polite for that -especially when we weren’t sure of his mental ability, but it was downright creepy! And that whole thing about the friend’s dad is awful! Scares me to death! What are we supposed to do – request a background check before our kids can go play at your house? This world is so scary sometimes – and so good at other times!

  3. #3 Mrs. Tantrum
    on Sep 19th, 2008 at 1:17 am

    This stuff is SO SCARY. You my dear did the damn right thing. DO NOT EVER DOUBT WHAT YOU DO TO PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN OR SOMEONE ELSE’S. At one of our local mall play areas there was a creepy old dude standing outside taking pictures of the kids and about 4 of the moms called security on their cell phones (I was one of them). None of us were together, so none of us had a clue that anyone else was creeped out by him too. It turned out that he was someone’s Grandpa and was with his wife, and daughter and 4 grandkids, but he still got written up for being creepy and told to leave. There are now also no photography signs posted all over that mall’s play area.

    Mrs. Tantrums last blog post..Dr. Evil

  4. #4 melody is slurping life
    on Sep 19th, 2008 at 1:18 am

    Excellent heads up on the charges that could have been filed. I’m not sure I would have thought that far in advance either. Don’t kick yourself, but do keep kicking pedophiles.

    Thank you for the links.

  5. #5 To Think Is To Create
    on Sep 19th, 2008 at 1:23 am

    Omg! Unbelievably scary. I really can get so afraid sometimes, because it seems like there’s so much to worry about all the time, but I know in the end that God is protecting us. We have to do every single thing we can, like support this bill, to make sure that these evil people have less and less opportunities to commit these horrific crimes. So glad you tore him a new one…I’m a raging b*tch, but sometimes I’m such a freaking people pleaser in public…

    To Think Is To Creates last blog post..Makes Perfect Sense

  6. #6 threeundertwo
    on Sep 19th, 2008 at 1:24 am

    Excellent post. I would be in jail for murder if anybody touched my kids.

    I’m off to that Oprah site. . .

    threeundertwos last blog post..Vintage Thingies Thursday: The Real McCoy

  7. #7 Sarah Clapp
    on Sep 19th, 2008 at 8:36 am

    OMG!!! ALWAYS GO WITH YOUR GUT! OMG! This is scary scary stuff. I’m going to the Oprah site now!

    Sarah Clapps last blog post..Irrational Fears

  8. #8 Brittany
    on Sep 19th, 2008 at 9:11 am

    This gave me goosebumps! I am already so freaked out about the danger of malls and whatnot,and this totally reaffirms why.

  9. #9 jennifer
    on Sep 19th, 2008 at 10:41 am

    My sister is a prosecuter who only prosecutes child sexual offenders. She told me that these guys usually look wholesome and clean cut.
    The scariest thing, one of my neighbors recently got arrested for exposing himself to the neighborhood kids. He is the father of two little girls. We live in an upscale neighborhood. We absolutely live in a scary world. Trust your gut!

  10. #10 Jennifer (KCC)
    on Sep 19th, 2008 at 10:43 am

    The scariest thing, in my experience, is that its not going to be the creepy guy at the park or the registered pedophile. 9/10 times it is someone you know…a family member, friend, neighbor…

  11. #11 Summer
    on Sep 19th, 2008 at 11:22 am

    As a mother, I’ve learned to always trust my gut instinct as it always seems to be right on. It’s like God changes something in us when we give birth and we’re just a little more in tune with things. Great post!

    Summers last blog post..Man, I Feel Like A Woman

  12. #12 Mishel
    on Sep 19th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks for the warning. I only hope that I am that strong to say something to that man and the manager and not just yank my child or children away from him. Sometimes I get so angry if someone upsets me that I can’t think of anything to say till later when I’ve calmed down and that’s why I hope I’m strong enough to get my thoughts together then and not later.

  13. #13 Holly at Tropic of Mom
    on Sep 19th, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Yikes! Child predators are shameless. Thanks for the heads-up.

  14. #14 Amy
    on Sep 19th, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    There was a tv special about a man who took pictures of little girls at different festivals, etc and posted them on the internet, along with rating the festival depending on how many little girls were there. I cannot remember his name but I remember the show…it is so very scary. I believe he was in Colorado. Always…trust your gut!!!

    Amys last blog post..Pirate Day

  15. #15 Normal to Natalie
    on Sep 19th, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    ugh… so much for me getting a good nights rest! very creeped out now!

    Normal to Natalies last blog post..To-Do List

  16. #16 Anita Kaiser
    on Sep 20th, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    wow! What a frightening scenario! As other said I’m a big fan of trusting the gut – no worried about offeding worried about being safe! Gavin DeBecker is a great author on this subject.

    My only other comment is how sadly predators like this really do have a disease – they obviously can’t help themselves (not saying it’s okay at all!) but seriously how could he try and get your kids to go somwhere with you right there? It must be like an addiction………(again not saying it’s acceptable – just saying how sad to have to live like that!)