Cop Harasses Dad for Holding Hands With Daughter, Demands Gratitude

One dad's account of getting pulled over by cop for walking with his kid, from the always-excellent Free-Range Kids blog:

[My youngest daughter and I] 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.

Welcome to a world where goofy dads are suspected pedophiles. And god forbid your dad should be of a different race than you are.

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  • Pro Libertate||

    I hold my daughter's hand all of the time. Because, you know, we have a good relationship.

    This reminds me of the guy who gets arrested for walking in that Ray Bradbury short story.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    You sick fuck.

  • Rich||

    This is why I always wear a T-shirt that says "I'm with, but not abducting, Stupid."

  • BoscoH||

    and I quote verbatim here, “More thankful someone was watching out for my daughter.”

    It takes a village, people. Signed, the YMCA

  • Virginian||

    I don't know what pisses me off more. We got:

    1) Some moron (probably female) who sees a man with a child and goes ZOMG PEDOPHILE!!!!111 and calls the cops.

    2)Stupid cop who harasses a little girl and her father, and then instead of apologizing profusely for the misunderstanding, immediately brings the attitude of the thin blue line/Only Ones/heroes bullshit.

  • wareagle||

    #2...how easily could this have been diffused with a simple "sorry, sir, but we got a report involving a little girl being abducted and that sort of crime bothers me more than any other. I am sorry to have scared you; y'all have a nice day."

  • ||

    I am still wondering why the cop first started talking to the daughter before asking the dad what was going on.

    Or hell why not watch them walk a bit and see what is going on before approaching at all.

  • Rich||

    Why say all that, when a simpler "Freeze, mofo!" suffices?

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    What would Sheriff Andy do? He would NOT tolerate child abductors in Mayberry; but he would also understand that there are some nervous busybodies in his town. So he would use southern charm to approach the pair, and be prepared to signal Barney for backup if he determined through casual conversation that something was amiss. He would also have conversational gambits to determine how well someone knows someone else (especially how well a child knows and is comfortable with an adult companion), so as to be able to make a good assessment of the situation. ("What kind of books does she like to read?" "Oh, have you read this one, dear?" Etc.) If, after all that, he misjudged the situation, he would first apologize sincerely, and second, probably show up at the family's house with Aunt Bee and perhaps even Opie and a pie or something else special, or would find some other way to make it up to the offended Dad and kid.

    Sheriff Andy considered himself one of the community, a fellow citizen with a job to do. By acting accordingly, sincerely, the community embraced him. Today's LEOs act as if they see themselves as being apart from the community, and they act accordingly. Consequently, the community remains at a distance, increasing the likelihood of misunderstandings and "accidents."

  • Mr. Soul||

    to extend your metaphor, THIS is why Barney only got one bullet and couldn't keep it in his gun.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    2)Stupid cop who harasses a little girl and her father, and then instead of apologizing profusely for the misunderstanding, immediately brings the attitude of the thin blue line/Only Ones/heroes bullshit.

    *Ahem*

    everything the cop did was in his LEGAL RIGHT. atfpapic, he had every reason to believe this guy was a pedophile. if you don't want cops to stop you walking down the street, don't be a moron. you might not like his manners, but according to the LAW he's allowed to act that way.

    twice this path month ive rescued girls who were being abducted and walked down the street, and this is in a state with a right to privacy in the constitution. but you dont hear about any of those cases on the news because it doesnt make good press for the bigots.

    hth

  • Killazontherun||

    “The queen’s not interested in your views, old man, and neither am I,” the officer said. “I’ll have the boy.”
    “You’ll have no one,” Yoren said stubbornly. “There’s laws on such things.”
    The gold cloak drew a shortsword. “Here’s your law.”
    Yoren looked at the blade. “That’s no law, just a sword. Happens I got one too.”

  • Anonymoose||

    There are about 40 - 100 cases of children being abducted by strangers per year in this country and you stopped two in a month? Bullshit.

  • Virginian||

    It's a dunphy parody. Hits all the high points too, a very well done dunphy parody.

  • Brandon Magoon||

    Cops don't have LEGAL RIGHTS! They are agents of the state. People have legal rights, police, as police have no rights. They have responsibilities and duties. They also seem to have no brains. For the police to do their jobs, they have to have the trust and respect of the people. This habit of acting as if they are better then everybody else is preventing them from doing the job we pay them to do and if they can't do the the job, we have no reason to keep them around.

  • Killazontherun||

    I doubt if #1 ever happened. Like a judge once put it, 'if you ever spot a cop telling the truth, come get me, I want to it for myself.'

  • JW||

    he stands up and informs me that someone had called 911 reporting what looked like a young girl being abducted.

    Bullfuckingshit.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Yep, it's the police version of "It was coming at me!"

  • ||

    Yep - nobody called fucking 911

  • ||

    I'm not sure I see anything wrong with this. The "game" could quite possibly be viewed by an (admittedly paranoid) observer as a child trying to get away from an adult that was holding on tight. Particularly if an observer was up high in an apartment and could neither hear nor get a a fuller grasp of the situation.

    If he got roughed up and then arrested, then we'd be in over-zealous territory.

  • Ice Nine||

    Of course there's nothing wrong with it and trying to find something wrong with it is really digging pathetically for some "nasty cop" stuff - as if there weren't enough of the real sort from which to choose. This wasn't a man and a child just lollygagging down the street - she was pulling away from him for crissake. Believe it or not, there are sinister reasons one might witness such a thing. If that cop had not investigated and that girl, kidnapped, had been all over the evening news, that cop would have slashed his wrists. Whoops, sorry - I ascribed some possible humanity to him.

  • Marshall Gill||

    So if I take my daughter for a walk and she decides to go where I do not wish and I pull her hand I deserve to be molested by the pigs? If a child resists an adult it simply MUST be molestation?

  • Ice Nine||

    "Must"? Please take your straw man elsewhere.

  • Marshall Gill||

    This wasn't a man and a child just lollygagging down the street - she was pulling away from him for crissake.

    This was your argument in support of the police harassing this man. Sure doesn't sound like you left out the possibility that the parent has a right to pull their child's hand. Sounds like you are equating pulling=molestation. You probably just misspoke.

  • Ice Nine||

    Sounds to me like your anti-cop boner demands you put words in people's mouths and argue with that rather than argue logically with what they actually said. Bye.

  • Marshall Gill||

    You claimed that it was totally reasonable for someone to call the police and then be harassed because "he was pulling on her hand".

    How is one to take such a comment? You even added "for crissake" as if pulling on a child's hand was obviously criminal.

    One assumes that if I kiss my daughter in public you will call the cops and claim I was going to rape her because "he was kissing her for crissake".

    You use the word "logically". It doesn't mean what you think it means.

  • The Hammer||

    Ice, you wrote what you wrote. he's not putting words in your mouth. Or are you doing a Dunphy impression?

  • gulo gulo||

    Ice, you wrote what you wrote.

    It's worse than that. What ice nine wrote is factually wrong, the girl was pulling her father into things. Any observer who was watching would quickly see that it was not a man pulling a child against their will.

    At which point, the bullshit abduction claim goes away.

    But ice nine just pretends the facts are what he wants them to be.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I don't object to the cop checking, but lecturing the dad is a bit much. And the whole business creeps me out as a dad, because I don't particularly like the idea of people calling in the cops because I'm hanging out with my kid.

  • ||

    Something tells me where missing the part of the story where Dad got all uppity with the cop.

    Just doesn't seem worthy of an HR post, or even a Brickbat.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Uppity?

    The fuck?

    I don't even...

  • wareagle||

    so your conclusion is he "got all uppity?" Right. Cop stops you and your little girl and the first thing you do is mouth off at him. Because that's everyone's first reaction in dealing with law enforcement.

  • dinkster||

    I can't speak for everyone, but it is typically my first reaction, to my own detriment.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I have to say that, whatever the merits or lack thereof of the stop, cops should be exceedingly deferential to people who aren't committing crimes or subject to discipline.

    In fact, in a perfect world, they'd be polite to the criminals they're beating up and running in, too.

  • Generic Stranger||

    I just had a mental image of a cop speaking in a British accent saying "Terribly sorry about this ol' chap..." while beating a suspect with a phonebook during an interrogation.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    I got a similar image. Laughing now.

  • Loki||

    And something tells me we're missing the part where the cop was being a total prick about it. If the cop had been polite ("Excuse me sir, but I recieved a 911 call from a concerned citizen about a possible child abduction, sorry about the inconvenience, you have a nice day") it would be even more of a non-story than it is.

    But something tells me that the cop was an asshole about it.

  • Marshall Gill||

    But something tells me that the cop was an asshole about it.

    Experience with Dunphy?

  • ||

    That's a reasonable take too.

    Whoever was the bigger prick here, nobody was a big enough prick to make an HR post out of it.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Bullshit. The asshole who called the cops in the first place was the biggest prick. They assumed that a very common occurrence was a crime and called the police.

    I guess if I see someone moving a TV out of their house I should simply assume they are committing a crime and call the cops? It would be entirely reasonable to call the cops every time I see someone drive a car because some people drive drunk? They were driving a car for crissakes!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Invisible Finger||

    The asshole who called the cops in the first place was the biggest prick.

    Why take the cops word for it that a call was made?

  • SIV||

    Because otherwise he wouldn't have stopped?

  • RBS||

    I'm so glad MP is here to tell everyone what should and should not be an HR post.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Heaven forfend someone get "uppity" with a "public servant".

  • Ice Nine||

    I certainly agree with you about the lecture.

  • gulo gulo||

    she was pulling away from him for crissake.

    You are wrong.

    "she was holding my hand and trying to pull me into telephone poles and whatnot as we walked"

    She wasn't pulling away from him. She was pulling him.

    Now, I can think of several ways this would be very obviously different than a small child "pulling away from" someone.

    That you can't, or choose not to, or worse, that you have chosen to deliberately misrepresent what occurred, means that you really don't have any credibility discussing the subject.

  • CE||

    SHouldn't they have arrested the kid for domestic violence? She was trying to hit her father with a telephone pole.

  • Ice Nine||

    She wasn't pulling away from him. She was pulling him.

    The sole difference then being her arm in flexor relaxation in the former and in flexor contraction in the latter. If you can discern that from the street you have a very fine eye indeed. You don't and neither did the cop.

    Now, I can think of several ways this would be very obviously different than a small child "pulling away from" someone.

    "Very obviously"? Hardly and not necessarily. Unless of course you are determined to make it a bad cop situation - which it might have been and which it might not have been. I at least am willing to consider both possibilities and I hate thug cops as much as most here, though I obviously haven't yet attained your and that other guy's level.

  • gulo gulo||

    The sole difference

    There is no sole difference, there are many differences, demeanor, mass, direction of forces, what happens when someone stumbles, or loses their grip, etc.

    "Very obviously"?

    Yup. A small child, pulling a grown man, will very obviously look different for the reasons I've mentioned.

    Unless of course you are determined to make it a bad cop situation

    Or I'm determined to make it a "point out ice nine's factually inaccurate claim" situation, which you seem to gloss over.

    You do realize you were lying when you said "she was pulling away from him" don't you? The premise you base your "argument" on is a lie, and you ignore that. Why is it that you troll me but fail to admit you lied?

    I obviously haven't yet attained your and that other guy's level.

    Agreed, you are pretty far behind the curve.

  • gulo gulo||

    The sole difference

    By the way, this proves my previous point. You just demonstrated that either your lack of intellect or your bias prevent you from coming up with more than one possibility.

    You choose which.

  • Ice Nine||

    Ice Nine: "make it a bad cop situation - which it might have been and which it might not have been. I at least am willing to consider both possibilities"

    Note to self: Do not argue with the logic-starved. Must stop now.

  • gulo gulo||

    You'll notice, I have said nothing regarding the cops behavior.

    This is about you and the lie you based your argument on.

    You seem to be lacking the intellect to understand that.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Do not argue with the logic-starved.

    You attempt to use the word "logic" again. You still don't know what it means.

  • RBS||

    Are you calling Ice Nine a moron?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Believe it or not, there are sinister reasons one might witness such a thing.

    In that scenario the kid would probably be screaming and dragging her feet, not walking along with him. Assuming the father's account is true, it wouldn't have looked like an abduction at all.

  • gulo gulo||

    Hence my problems with ice nine's argument. That, and the fact that ice nine was lying when he said "she was pulling away from him" and based his argument on that premise.

  • Jack the Reaper||

    Fuck you MP and fuck you Ice Nine.

  • Ice Nine||

    A very incisive and persuasive argument. I yield.

  • ||

    I was stung quite deeply. I'll never get over the hurt.

  • Jack the Reaper||

    It was late in the day. I was tired and didn't feel eloquent.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    In that scenario, why isn't the girl screaming or dragging her feet? And if the person was too far away to know what was going on they shouldn't have called 911 on it.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Oh, no, Tulpa. If someone sees an adult and a child pulling against each other they should always call the cops! Pulling her hand for crissakes!

  • ||

    The man should be thankful that he didn't have his dog with him.

  • ||

    Welcome to a world where goofy dads are suspected pedophiles.

    I would think physical play with your children would make you a good dad...not a goofy one.

  • wareagle||

    clearly, you are someone whom law enforcement should keep a closer eye on.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Welcome to a world where goofy dads males are suspected pedophiles.

  • Rich||

    "[Be] thankful someone was watching out for my daughter."

    "OK, then you won't mind taking me to thank that special someone in person."

  • Old Mexican||

    [...] 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."


    "Say 'thank you' to the nice hack-booted, tax-fed thug, dear."

  • The Hammer||

    Hack-booted?

  • ||

    ...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.”

    The father isn't watching out for his daughter. Head explody!

  • ||

    I really can't see this sort of thing happening here in the Czech Republic, which, despite its lack of paranoia of such things, isn't swimming in child abuse.

  • Pro Libertate||

    There are some creepy people out there. Locally, some puppet guy turned out to be a totally insane child porn nit, who also was caught talking about molesting kids and wanting to eat them. Ye gods. Some other guy got busted right after that for child molestation. It does happen, even if it's not as endemic as the government and the media would have us believe.

  • Pro Libertate||

    More nut than nit.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That's because Europeans have the sense to keep all that stuff in the basement, where it belongs.

  • ||

    A few crazy Austrians (Hitler, Fritzl) and you want to tar the whole Continent.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Don't forget Yahoo Serious!

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I expect ifh to come down like an avenging angel on you for mentioning that name.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Here's the thing with law enforcement: Once they have an authority boner, they have to fire off some authority jizz at something.

    A friend of mine was telling me how he was robbed in NYC. The police showed up and cocked off about how he shouldn't have left his window open and generally treating him like a criminal. They were there, they were going to treat someone like a criminal, and if the actual criminal wasn't there, the guy not wearing a badge was close enough.

    Too many poorly trained and ill-suited for the job.

  • Old Mexican||

    That's a very cute girl, by the way.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I don't think there is anything anyone can do.

    Cops have shot people and got away with murder.

    A state trooper in NJ killed two people while he was speeding to catch someone to give a speeding ticket. A jury acquitted him.

    The Frisco cop, not only go off light for shooting a kid on the subway, but now wants his felony record expunged so he can be a cop again...and they will expunge his record.

    Cops get off with everything.

    Until there is a civilian complaint board put together that doesn't advise to the commissioner or chief of police, but has the power to fire cops for misconduct, this will not end.

  • signalfire||

    Mixed feelings about this one. Your daughter's 'silly game' could easily be miscontrued as her trying to get away from you. Why do you let her try to run you into telephone poles, anyways? What's wrong with just walking down the street normally and talking?

    And how did you expect the cop to handle this? It may be the first time he's had a call on such an 'odd sighting'... It's not like his gun was drawn. And he probably sees a whole heckuva lot worse on a daily basis, thus his fear and stress level at having to pull someone over and ask these kind of questions of a father and daughter. I think you should be grateful someone cared enough to call 911 (however misguided, we're all a product of a fear based society) and it wouldn't have cost you anything to thank him for his concern. And a learning opportunity for your daughter, too.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Why isn't the kid screaming or dragging her feet in that scenario?

  • Marshall Gill||

    The person who called the cops wasn't close enough to tell the child's mood. Wasn't the hand holding enough? If a chester has ever held a child's hand shouldn't the default "safety" action be "call the cops"! Shouldn't the father be grateful that some Nanny was "watching out" for them?

    I sure hope that the DHS comes to my house tonight to show their deep concern for my children. I would gratefully thank them for their beneficence.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Your daughter's 'silly game' could easily be miscontrued as her trying to get away from you.

    Only by the mentally ill.

  • RBS||

    Why do you let her try to run you into telephone poles, anyways? What's wrong with just walking down the street normally and talking?

    Maybe because children like to play?

  • nipplemancer||

    Why do you let her try to run you into telephone poles, anyways? What's wrong with just walking down the street normally and talking?


    Holy shit, I missed this originally until RBS pointed it out.
    I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that you probably don't have children and haven't spent much time around them because this is just a retarded statement.
    Kids do stupid shit because to them, it is fun. They also bore easily and have short attention spans. Jumping Jesus Fuck on a pogo-stick.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    My son also used to try to pull me into telephone poles, street signs, etc., when we were walking along. When he was in the pram and/or riding in wagons or piggyback, he used to hold his arm out to slap telephone poles, fire hydrants, and post boxes as we went by. Kids just do that kind of stuff. Impacts are apparently fun for them. If you spend any time around kids who are being themselves, you learn that right away.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    How about this? There WAS someone looking out for his daughter, her FATHER. He shouldn't have had to feel greatful that someone called the cops on him for walking his daughter. On what planet is being playful with your own kid, rather than training them to march eyes straight ahead like a good little cadre, a crime?

  • Alice Bowie||

    And watch, the Supreme court will rule that you can't video tape cops.

  • nipplemancer||

    This is one of my biggest fears when I'm out in public with my daughter. I'd be willing to bet money that sometime in the next few years something like this will happen to me when she throws a shit-fit because I said no in a store or out on the street.

    If there was truly a 911 call and this cop wasn't lying, whomever called is a paranoid nutcase. If the cop did this of his own volition, he's a flaming asshole and I wouldn't bat an eye if he wound up on the Wall of Heroes or whatever the fuck they call their dead cop memorial.

  • Peter L||

    There have been a few times when my daughters were in a bad mood and wanted candy or a toy and threw a fit when I said no, so I just threw the kid over my shoulder and walked out of the store with them screaming at the top of their lungs. Probably would look like a child abduction.

  • Rasilio||

    It is especially fun when they get old enough to pull the "You're not my real dad" ploy as part of the tantrum.

    Fortunately none of my kids ever did that but I've seen it happen in stores before.

  • Andrew S.||

    I've gotten looks before while at the park with my daughter. Always fear this kind of thing happening.

    Also, I'd be willing to bet $50 there was no 911 call in the first place.

  • ||

    They told me if the Arizona immigration bill was allowed to stand innocent fathers would be stopped on the street by cops for going to pick something up for their kids and THEY WERE RIGHT!

    Sorry to steal Instapundit's schtick.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    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.”

    Thank you, sir! May I have another?

    Because fathers watching out for their daughters is completely beyond the pale.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    BS like this is why I'm glad I grew up in a small town and raised my three daughters in a small town.

    A kid can't walk down the street with a buck for Dad's smokes without getting hassled? Screw that.

    ... Hobbit

  • ||

    Assuming the article has reported the incident accurately, I can appreciate the officer's intentions, but not his methods. He should have addressed the father directly, then explained what he was doing before questioning the daughter.

    I'm more worried about being able to spank my children in public without getting hauled before a tribunal. Or worse.

  • BunkerBill||

    I'm afraid that I just can't get all that angry here. Man walking down the street, holding a child by the hand, and it looks like the child is trying to pull away. Worth checking out, I think.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Worth checking out? Sure. Worth insisting that you owe them a debt of gratitude for stopping you and treating you like a criminal ("Step away from the child!")? Not so much.

  • BunkerBill||

    The cop could have handled it better, I'll hand you that.

  • Public Citizzen||

    An overweight Barney Fife with his "us versus them" mentality on full cock.
    Is anybody keeping score on the hysterical busybody that initiated this whole scene? How many other false police reports have been filed by the same individual?
    We are seeing more and more of this as the "news media" keeps pushing the societal hysteria level higher. Most of the TV News has degenerated to infotainment, with the important information receiving scant coverage because Joe Sixpack doesn't have the inclination or educational background to understand it anyway.

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