Sex

Standing Near Children Now a Crime

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New adventures in sex crime hysteria:

After an El Dorado Hills mom reported observing a strange man speaking with her two children at each of three children's-story events, deputies arrested the man at his Folsom home.

Victor Emmer, 49, was arrested March 13 on suspicion of loitering where children gather.

"It's an odd charge," said sheriff's Sgt. Jim Byers, noting the statute intends chiefly to protect school-grounds neighborhoods. "The family was at the Folsom Borders Books story-telling time, where he (spoke to one of the children), and for lack of a better term, he creeped the mom out. Then, a few days later at the

El Dorado Hills Library story time, she saw him again striking up conversation with her children. And then, he does it again. We felt it justified a criminal complaint, she signed it and he was arrested."

I can understand the police talking with the guy, or even asking him to stay away from the woman's kids.  But arresting him? Since when is it a crime to talk to children? When the judge set his bail at $10,000, the police asked it be upped to $100,000. That request was granted. The guy isn't a sex offender, has no criminal record, and was under no order not to speak to children. Perhaps there's something else going on here, but it isn't apparent in the article.

Thanks to Justin Lewis for the tip. 

NEXT: Meet the New Czar

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  1. Children are obviously becoming a problem. I think that it’s time we considered banning them.

  2. This doesnt surprise me at all, times and places need scapegoating, I agree pedophiles are disgusting, now we need to bring up potential pedophiles?

  3. Yes, ban the children. It’s for the children, after all. Won’t somebody please think of the children?

  4. observing a strange man

    How strange? Like, foaming at the mouth and screaming at the clouds strange, or just wearing white after Labor Day strange?

  5. Wow. So in order to not be arrested as a pedophile, can I just mace the little brats if they get within three feet of me? Or is there some sort of law against that, too?

  6. Comments page for this story at the Sac Bee has a little background from someone who claims to have met the guy. Sounds like he the kind of guy who just creeps people out.

    Here

  7. Of course the mother couldn’t have simply asked her kids what they were talking about or confronted the guy herself, that would be far too simple.

  8. It’s simple, really. Do not talk to any children in public under any circumstances. Don’t approach them for any reason, no matter how severe it appears. This rule holds up to and including things like, if you see someone’s kid run into the street in front of cars, don’t try to help them – let them die.

    That’s my advice to everyone. Seriously.

    And as for the run of the mill reasons why you could be around someone else’s kids – volunteering for little league, cub scouts, whatever – don’t be ridiculous. Don’t even consider doing any of that crap.

    If enough people do this, maybe we can start the pendulum back. You have to be as unreasonable as the people creating the problem in order to counterbalance them.

  9. Last year I was gassing up my rental car near the Manchester NH airport after a business trip to the Boston area. Typical gas station in broad daylight with me well dressed and groomed because of the customer visits. In the lane on the other side of my pump was a kid in his car seat in the back of an SUV. May have been 6 or 8 years old, something like that. I noticed him watching me and gave him a quick smile. No teeth, no waving, no winking, nothing weird.

    I started filling the car when I heard this kid shriek “Dad, that guy smiled at me”. He actually said “guy” which I thought was strange . Anyway, both him and his dad were just glaring at me when I turned back to the pump. I couldn’t figure out what was going on but got out of there as quick as I could. This thing happened so quickly that I can’t help but think that I could have been in Mr. Emmer’s situation fairly easily.

    I’ve got kids. I know the fear when thinking about what can happen to them. But it’s getting really bad out there.

  10. I suspect there was something about the man’s demeanor and lack of an explanation why he was there that caused the police to feel justified in arresting him. Still, the insanely vagueness of the charge points out the government can basically arrest you for anything, any time, for any reason, whenever they feel like it.

  11. Also, I note with interest that this incident occured INSIDE A BORDERS BOOKSTORE.

    It’s not possible to be guilty of loitering INSIDE A MOTHERFUCKING STORE.

    You can be guilty of trespass if you’re asked to leave and refuse, but you can’t be guilty of loitering. By definition. Unless every time you enter a Borders and don’t buy something you’re loitering.

  12. I sometimes smile or wave or make funny faces at babies that are staring at me. They generally smile back and giggle. It’s cute fun.

    I’ve never seen any parents freak out.

  13. Can we have this woman arrested for agravated stupidity or something.

    As to what Fluffy said, some Hit and Runners thought in another thread that I was being extreme when I said that if I saw a child alone in an interstate median in the snow I would drive right by rather than get involved. I had to admit I was being somewhat hyperbolic but now I’m not so sure.

  14. Looks like he’s just lonely, and doesn’t have a good enough reason to talk to people. Like most of the Internet.

    The thing about loitering where children are known to congregate means that performances featuring children such as plays & ball games are legally expected to have 0 audience.

  15. I’ve telling you fuckers for years that our Borders are broken

  16. So, being creepy is now a criminal offense that warrants a $100k bond? Holy shit!

  17. It’s simple, really. Do not talk to any children in public under any circumstances. Don’t approach them for any reason, no matter how severe it appears. This rule holds up to and including things like, if you see someone’s kid run into the street in front of cars, don’t try to help them – let them die.

    That’s my advice to everyone. Seriously.

    Single, normal 52 year old male male here.
    No, I will not babysit your children.
    No, I will not give them a ride anywhere.
    No, I will not “keep an eye on them” at the pool.
    No, I will not have anything to do with them.

    And I like kids. I just don’t want to burned at the stake.

  18. BTW, last year I coached youth football. I was sort of dared into it by the coaches at Delphi’s single wing forum. I’d like to coach again this year, provided I can install my own offense. I just have certain ideas about the game, and there are more opp’ties to coach kids than other age groups.

    Meanwhile, from the interactive blog link posted above, he creeps adults out talking to them too, not just ones with kids in the vicinity. It just may be that there was nothing they could arrest him for after talking to adults.

    What do you think the chances are this guy winds up getting a court-ordered psych evaluation? At his expense, of course.

    Trouble is, how are you supposed to approach strangers? If you’re all loud & boisterous, that’s no good, too threatening. If you’re quiet & reserved, that’s no good either, too creepy. If you use some pretext, that’s no good because you’re hiding something, but if you have no pretext, no good because people just don’t talk to people for no reason.

  19. So, being creepy is now a criminal offense that warrants a $100k bond? Holy shit!

    Some of us better watch out.

    You know who you are.

  20. Trouble is, how are you supposed to approach strangers?

    You aren’t.

    Society seems to be moving in that direction. You aren’t really expected to have contact in person any more. If you try to approach strangers they get “creeped out”

    You want to make new friends? Join MySpace/Facebook or go to chat rooms.

  21. Careful in those chatrooms, ChicagoTom. Never know what Dateline is up to.

  22. All the people I know have been told that, prior to any visit to my place of residence, I require notification (phone, email, etc. I’m not unreasonable) of how many in the expected party, ages, blood types, etc. This is all for unforseen emergencies that may, or may not, arise. Upon arrival, I require that they sound their vehicle horn three times to alert me to their presence. Then, before proceeding to the front door, they are required to turn out their pockets, thus proving they have no weapons. After this they are allowed to enter, one at a time of course, for a pat-down search. Then, the visit may commence. No odd-balls in my home, boyo.

  23. You guys are right! We should wait until after he does something to the children before acting! You know, freedom and all.

  24. This makes me think of a girl I asked out once. Growing up, our parents were good friends, and my family always went to the New Year’s Eve party her parents threw. In high school, my parents went to every girls basketball game (starting when my older sister played) and sometimes I tagged along. ‘Jill’ and her parents were there sometimes, and we would talk and hang out. She came into the grocery store where I worked about once a week, and I would talk to her if I saw her.

    When our state school made it into the NCAA basketball tournament (for the first, and so far only time) her family came over to watch it on our big screen. Twice (they pulled off an upset against the number 2 seed in the first round) I came home from work to find Jill and her parents in my living room, without knowing about it beforehand.

    I asked her to my junior prom. She said she wasn’t sure, and after a couple says told me that her doctor said her leg wouldn’t be healed by then (she hurt it playing basketball). I said okay, and didn’t pursue it. During the next summer, a friend of hers starting working at the grocery store I worked at. After getting to know me, the friend told me that Jill had told her she thought I might be stalking her.

    The only time I went out of my way to see her was the day I asked her to the prom. I could be stuck in jail with $100k for bond money, because this girl apparently though I was creepy, but didn’t bother to say anything to me, or avoid me, or maybe even just not go to my house.

    That’s scary stuff.

  25. We should wait until after he does something to the children before acting!

    Actually, yes.

    Right now all we have is a guy who hangs out in a Borders bookstore [like half the fucking student body at Georgetown doesn’t do the same thing all damn day] and who talks to people. I don’t think these things should be crimes, unless the store management asks him to leave and he refuses.

    I think a commenter at the article in the link has it right: if this guy should have been arrested, every crazy old lady who insists on talking to my 20 month old in public places should be arrested, too.

  26. You’re right, Vermont Gun Owner. There is no difference between your story and the story of the 49 year old man showing up at kids’ “story-time” over and over and over again and talking to children when a parent obviously doesn’t want them to.

  27. Stan | March 25, 2008, 6:35pm | #

    You guys are right! We should wait until after he does something to the children before acting! You know, freedom and all.

    You sound like a child molestor. Make no attempt to run, the police are on their way.

  28. Hey, have any of you seen a short, hairy, rather stout-looking troll around here? We call him “Stan” and he escaped from his cage. He’s likely to be seen obnoxiously begging for food but if you see him, please don’t feed him as this will only encourage further obnoxiousness. Just let us know and we’ll catch him and drag him back to his cage. Or, we may just shoot him as we have too many trolls right now (they breed like rabbits) anyway and he is one of the weaker ones.

  29. Stan,

    You sure are right! We shouldn’t wait until after he does something illegal before arresting him! You know, children’s safety and all.

    Speaking of which, we’ve received reports that you are in fact alive, and therefore may at some point in the future commit a crime. Please, remain where you are, we will have a car there to pick you up shortly.

    Hell, why aren’t we arresting the children involved in this case? Won’t anyone think of the children of 2030? These kids might creep those kids out!

  30. He was at more than just Borders. The guy was showing up at “story-time” at public libraries too.

  31. I forget, you guys just love to stick up for pedophiles in the name of freedom.

    Cool, keep taking your silly theoretical world to ridiculous extremes.

  32. You gotta love pedophile threads at Hit & Run. It is kinda like a rebel flag in the back window of a car….it let’s me know who the idiots are.

  33. When I was a child, my mother taught me not to talk to strangers.

    Evidently this woman forgot to ingrain that little lesson into her precious little snowflakes’ minds.

  34. This makes me think of a girl I asked out once.

    That four-year-old?

    Haa! I’m here all week.

  35. Stan: He was at more than just Borders. The guy was showing up at “story-time” at public libraries too.

    I forget, you guys just love to stick up for pedophiles in the name of freedom.

    Cool, keep taking your silly theoretical world to ridiculous extremes.

    Radley missed the point that this guy showed up at multiple childrens’ events. The folks on FARK (more leftist than anything) made the same mistake. How ridiculous and extreme.

  36. Also, if this weirdo was showing up at various kids’ events, trying to strike up conversations with kids, the proprietors of the location(s) he was showing up at should have told him to Amityville.

  37. Do not talk to any children in public under any circumstances. Don’t approach them for any reason, no matter how severe it appears. This rule holds up to and including things like, if you see someone’s kid run into the street in front of cars, don’t try to help them – let them die.

    Fluffy:

    Word. I have kids. However, I will never do any of the following:

    babysit anyone elses kids.
    coach children’s anything.
    volunteer to chaperone events where children are present.
    tutor or mentor any child or children.
    volunteer for anything involving children.

  38. “just love to stick up for pedophiles”

    Talking to children makes you a pedophile now? Interesting.

  39. Radley missed the point that this guy showed up at multiple childrens’ events.

    Creepy, sure. Cause for being arrested? No.

  40. Radley missed the point that this guy showed up at multiple childrens’ events. The folks on FARK (more leftist than anything) made the same mistake. How ridiculous and extreme.

    It doesn’t fucking matter WHERE he showed up or how many times. What is the relevance of including this?

    Showing up to a public event and interacting with people IS NOT INHERENTLY INNAPROPRIATE.

    Stan the Asshat is already labeling this guy a child molester. WHO HAS HE MOLESTED?!!? What has he done to ANYONE?

    If making people uncomfortable is a crime, then everyone who rides the fucking bus with me is a criminal.

    In free societies we don’t lock people up because they make us “uncomfortable” nor do we lock people up because THEY MIGHT BE A CRIMINAL based on a “he creeps me out” factor.

    Idiots!

  41. Max – It says right there in the excerpt that Radley cut and pasted into the post that he was at a Border’s and a library.

    OMG! You know what? I once went to a Barnes&Noble and a library in the same week! Christ, I’ll have to turn myself in, I’m obviously a pedophile.

  42. Anecdote:

    A couple years ago while living in Georgia, I was on the Silver Comet Trail doing my daily three-mile run when a little girl on a bike roared past me, hit a crack in the pavement, and launched herself off her bike. She had a hard, nasty landing- road-rash and bruises.

    After landing, she sat up, looked around, blinked, and started to bawl. She was about 20 feet away from me.

    My first thought was to see if she was okay- she’d come down pretty hard on her ribcage and, while I didn’t hear anything snap, she was obviously in great pain.

    My second thought was that, if this girl’s minder(s) were to arrive as I was trying to ascertain if there had been any serious injuries sustained, my proximity to the girl could possibly be interpreted the wrong way. Why, you ask? Stories like Radley’s post, that’s why. Men are not supposed to interact with children that don’t belong to them.

    I was angry and ashamed at the second thought and made up my mind to help the girl, my maleness be damned.

    At that moment, however, (what appeared to be) her grandparents came around the corner, paid no attention whatsoever to me, and went to help the girl. I resumed running.

    Unrelated: I remember collecting the Bee for my grandmother when I was a little boy in California.

  43. Cool, keep taking your silly theoretical world to ridiculous extremes.

    Pardon me, but the person who demands that anyone “creepy” is to be locked up is the one who is living in an extremely ridiculous world.

    I like going to my local park district and watching little league games. Sometimes I talk to the kids playing or to other people in the stands (kids included). But alas I don’t have children of my own, just a love of watching a free baseball game.

    Am I a child molester too?

  44. OMG! You know what? I once went to a Barnes&Noble and a library in the same week! Christ, I’ll have to turn myself in, I’m obviously a pedophile.

    Either that or a bibliophile, but just to be safe, we are going to brand you a pedophile.

  45. Fluffy and J sub D, as a single male I am in total and complete agreement with you. Never have anything to do with other people’s kids. Way, way too dangerous. If some small kid is wandering around lost in a store I turn around and go the other way. Maybe I’ll tell someone else. But as a guy nowadays you risk EVERYTHING by just talking to someone’s child.

    And then they tell you horseshit about ‘it takes a village’. Yeah, right.

  46. For all I know, this guy might be trouble. It probably makes sense for parents, librarians, and other concerned citizens to keep an eye on him.

    However, I’m just not prepared to endorse arresting and charging somebody for the crime of being suspicious. No, I don’t want any children to be hurt because nobody acted before it’s too late, but we have more options than the binary choice of doing nothing vs. preventive prosecution. Parents, librarians, and other concerned citizens who notice a pattern of odd behavior can keep a close eye on him and on the children.

  47. Vermont Gun Owner: Creepy, sure. Cause for being arrested? No.

    I would have to agree on the basis that the mother didn’t take the obvious step of simply approaching the guy. But, supposing that she had, I can see how his refusal to leave her children alone that would be grounds for arrest.

    And, ChicagoTom, calm down. Of course he’s not a molester. However, I can at least see why the mom would be concerned. These weren’t random events. I haven’t ever stumbled upon childrens’ reading circle by accident. 3 times establishes a pattern would cause many sensible parents to worry.

  48. I guess no common-sense preventative measures should ever be taken.

    According to this thread, the parents are wrong, the kids a wrong,and the establishment owners are wrong. Everyone is wrong except the 50 year old man continuously showing up a kiddie events talking to toddlers against the will of parents.

    Have fun guys.

  49. thoreau – Absolutely agree. Ask him to leave, tell your kids not to talk to him, but only call the cops if he tries to convince a kid to get into his panel van.

  50. There are different types of preventive measures, Stan. One good preventive measure would be for parents and librarians to keep a close eye on him and for parents to keep an extra close eye on their kids. That would still give the kids a good deal of protection, but would have the added bonus of not sending a man to jail even though he hasn’t hurt anybody (and, for all we know, might not be thinking of hurting anybody).

  51. Stan – Since when is calling the cops the only preventative measure? How about you walk up to him and tell him to stay away from your kids. Then you tell your kids to stay away from him.

    End of story.

  52. Radley missed the point that this guy showed up at multiple childrens’ events

    No he didn’t. It’s in the very first sentence of the (quoted) post!

  53. I think that people that constantly worry about pedophiles are pretty odd. Why is it that they think others would be so interested in molesting their children?

    Maybe we should arrest them, just as a preventative measure, cause they’re creepy.

  54. You guys are right! We should wait until after he does something to the children before acting! You know, freedom and all.

    Err, yeah?

    You mean not arresting someone until they’ve committed a crime? I think that’s pretty basic stuff.

    It’s not as if there aren’t sensible ways to deal with the situation. I mean, if there’s a serious suggestion that the guy is loitering ‘dangerously’ around children, then you get a restraining order. That way, if he continues to approach children for no reason, then he’s actually commited a crime, and there’s a point to arresting him.

  55. The parents and librarians did keep a close eye on him. That “close eye” is what gave them the information that he was showing up (over and over again) to kiddie events that seemingly normal 49 year-old childless men don’t normally show up to and attempting to talk to children in spite of their parents wishes.

  56. Maybe if a mother and children get to close to you (and you’re male) you sghould call the police and have the woman charged for trying to get you falsly accused of child molestation?

    If being close to children is enough to get you arrested (with no proof or history) then I say react in kind. Call the police and tell them a mother is trying to get you falsly convicted of a crime.

  57. I’m a white male in my mid-30s. I have a couple kids so I spend all my time around little kids. I interact with dozens of other people’s kids every week: in T-ball practice, at the zoo, at the science center, etc.

    In general, I find children more interesting to talk to than most adults, so I often have conversations with kids at the park or the zoo, or wherever. No one has ever cared, or said anything negative to me. Most of the time, the parents are happy to have someone else interested in their kid.

    You can drop your paranoid delusions – how many people have really been charged with anything because they spoke to a kid in a park, or they helped a girl who fell on a path? One? Two?

    The world is not as bad as you think…

  58. Boy, Stan’s tone sure sounds like Edward.

    Have fun guys.

    We will. Please don’t miss us.

  59. I forget, you guys just love to stick up for pedophiles

    I guess no common-sense preventative measures should ever be taken.

    Damn, I told you not to feed him…

    The further this goes the dumber Stan gets. Nobody on this entire thread defended a pedophile and several people suggested other “common-sense” preventative measures (like the parents talking to their kids, the guy, and/or having the police to him). Apparently Stan has to resort to his imaginary world of no common-sense pedophile defenders in order to vent his pent up righteous indignation at them.

  60. Well, that’s the thing about paranoid delusions – you only have to be right once for your whole world to be fucked. The odds of a situation like this happening to you may be extremely low, but the consequences are very serious indeed, so I think a certain degree of discretion is advisable, although I wouldn’t go to the extremes some are suggesting.

  61. Randomly talking to kids isn’t the point. The point is this guy was following these children from kiddie event to kiddie event.

    A few of you seem bright, it is nearly statistically impossible for this guy to show up to three consecutive events encroaching upon the same children. This wasn’t random, this wasn’t being an old lady at Barnes and Noble, this wasn’t being at t-ball practice, and this wasn’t asking a girl out your own age and getting turned down three times.

    ps: troll keeper, that whole “don’t feed the trolls” tripe is sooo 2004.

  62. You can drop your paranoid delusions

    No way, Jose.

    Stan’s presence on this board demonstrates to my satisfaction that there’s nothing wrong with my attitude, and that it’s not paranoid. At all.

    Stan openly admits that he thinks people should be arrested for talking to children.

    And that’s what this boils down to. You can say, “He’s showing up at children’s events” all you want, but what it boils down to is being inside a Border’s book store and being inside a library while a portion of those venues are being used for a “children’s event”. There are events in my small-town library for kids pretty much ALL DAY on Tuesday and Thursday, and events for kids in Borders EVERY DAY. Since I’m sure that not everyone who was inside the story and the library at these times was arrested, the bottom line is that the guy was arrested because he talked to the kids, and not because he was there.

    And Stan thinks that’s great, because he believes that anyone who talks to children in a semipublic place MUST be a pedophile, because no one else would EVER want to talk to a child or interact with a child.

    I was angry and ashamed at the second thought and made up my mind to help the girl, my maleness be damned.

    No. No no no no no. Your shame was misplaced. You had nothing to be ashamed of. And as for anger, be angry at Stan, and not at yourself.

    I would be happy to be part of a society where you could behave reasonably in cases like that and be absolutely safe from absurd allegations and hysteria. But that’s not the society we’ve got, thanks to people like Stan. You don’t have to be ashamed for giving people like Stan the revised social contract they have demanded. And Stan is making it clear that in his social contract, if you had stopped to talk to that girl you would deserve whatever you got.

  63. The correct thing to say to trolls these days is:

    NO U CANT HAZ FEEDIN KTHXBYE

  64. You’re right Fluffy, I’m the problem. Of course.

  65. The more I think about this, the more I feel sorry for the guy. He’s a lonely loser. A social misfit. We (the cool kids) called him a retard in junior high school. He went on exactly zero dates in high school. He seems creepy because he has never learned to fit into American life.

    What I just described is a far more likely scenario than hinm being a stalking child molester.

  66. it is nearly statistically impossible for this guy to show up to three consecutive events encroaching upon the same children.

    That’s absolutely wrong.

    If you go to the library EVERY DAY, or if you go to the bookstore for a latte EVERY DAY, based on your schedule it is actually statistically extremely likely that you will see a few of the same people. Especially because the story times are on a set schedule. If story time in the Borders is Wednesday morning at ten, and that happens to be the time you stop every day for a latte and to read the paper, eventually you will recognize parents going to the story time and they will recognize you.

    And did it occur to anyone that if he talked to the kids once and the mom didn’t say anything, maybe the reason he talked to them again is because he recognized them? I’ve taken my kid to a story time, and had mothers say hello to me at the supermarket three weeks later. Some people remember names and faces.

    And did it also occur to anyone that maybe the guy was actually trying to get the MOM’S attention? Half the women in my small town are single moms under the age of 25. Maybe this guy looked at the available market for broads and figured story time was the place to be. People do it at match.com, why wouldn’t they do it at Borders?

  67. You can say, “He’s showing up at children’s events” all you want, but what it boils down to is being inside a Border’s book store and being inside a library while a portion of those venues are being used for a “children’s event”. There are events in my small-town library for kids pretty much ALL DAY on Tuesday and Thursday, and events for kids in Borders EVERY DAY. Since I’m sure that not everyone who was inside the story and the library at these times was arrested, the bottom line is that the guy was arrested because he talked to the kids, and not because he was there.

    Bookstores? Libraries? You’re wasting your time Fluffy. Stan doesn’t frequent those types of establishments so he won’t comprehend your points.

  68. Fluffy’s explanation might be totally wrong. But I think it’s true that there are multiple ways to explain a series of events when we have limited information. Given that, it doesn’t seem reasonable to arrest and charge a person who seems suspicious but has not been reported to actually harm anybody.

    If he really is creepy, it would make sense for the library manager or bookstore manager to ask him to leave. It’s their prerogative (at least in the bookstore, although I suppose it might be more complicated in a public library). If he refused to comply with a request to leave, then, yeah, call the cops.

  69. “based on your schedule it is actually statistically extremely likely that you will see a few of the same people.”

    I agree Fluffy, if you base your schedule around stalking people, it is extremely likely you will see the same people over and over again.

    Kinda like when pedophiles plan their schedule around kiddie events.

  70. You’re right Fluffy, I’m the problem. Of course.

    Stan, we’re actually in agreement in a way. You don’t want anyone to talk to kids, and I absolutely never will talk to your kids. No matter what happens. Even if they’re about to eat rat poison or something. You never, ever, ever have to worry about me being the guy messing with your kid in a public place. They’re totally safe from me. So we have nothing to argue about.

  71. God Dammit!!!!

    Gravel formally joined the Libertarian Party

    Sorry to hijack the thread but Reason really needs forums to start our own shit.

  72. I’m seeing some parallels to the Tom Brady sexual harrasment SNL skit a year or two ago. The way to avoid sexual harrasment proceedings is to look like Tom Brady, not Fred Armisen; and the way to avoid arrests like this is not to look/act like a creepy guy when you talk to strangers’ kids.

  73. J sub D, you’ve been out of your league at Hit & Run for a while now, pal. No offense.

  74. I agree Fluffy, if you base your schedule around stalking people, it is extremely likely you will see the same people over and over again.

    You are a worthless cunt.

    If I ever see a kid drowning, as I leave the scene without helping I will think to myself, “God, I hope that was Stan’s kid. That would be the best possible outcome here.”

  75. that whole “don’t feed the trolls” tripe is sooo 2004.

    Yes, I agree it is quite tired. But then sometimes you have to fight tired with tired:

    You know, freedom and all.

    I mean, come on, you started off with that garbage. Oh and is that a “drink” or is that too 2006 for us?

    And then followed up with this beauty:

    I forget, you guys just love to stick up for pedophiles

    If you don’t want to be thought of as a troll, don’t act like one. Don’t throw out stupid-ass lines like that, and especially, don’t start with one.

  76. Stan “I agree Fluffy, if you base your schedule around stalking people, it is extremely likely you will see the same people over and over again.

    Kinda like when pedophiles plan their schedule around kiddie events.”

    Oh, please. Fluffy was making a very valid point. Our weekly routines are not completely random. If you’re just calculating complex probabilities based on how likely he is to be at B&N or the library at any given time, your model isn’t complex enough to accurately predict the likelihood of this happening. You know that, but you’d rather be sarcastic.

  77. Don’t worry Fluffy, if I see your kid (or anybody else’s) drowning, I’ll save him or her. But of course, that’s what makes me a man and you….well…you.

  78. J sub D, you’ve been out of your league at Hit & Run for a while now, pal. No offense.

    Stan, I’m stung by your masterful rebuke. Your logic and intelligence are surely to be feared.
    I place this exchange with Donderoooooooo calling me insane. I place you with the closeted gay, family values, republicans.

    Figger it out.

  79. The Stan says, “J sub D, you’ve been out of your league at Hit & Run for a while now, pal. No offense.”

    Stan, you’re really not one to talk. You’ve contributed to the debate, and I thought I would end up defending you, but you’re just too much of an inflammatory douche. You seem to think that you’re dissecting the weaknesses of libertarianism, but you’re not even able to convincingly deal with the topic at hand.

  80. Stan, you use the word “kiddie” as if you are overly familiar with it, and also like you’re trying to make sure people using the term in Google find H&R.

    That’s enough for me. I’m calling the cops, Stan, because you’ve used that word enough times to freak me out. You’re going down, sucker.

  81. The greatest irony would be if Stan showed up on one of those Dateline specials.

  82. “The more I think about this, the more I feel sorry for the guy. He’s a lonely loser. A social misfit. We (the cool kids) called him a retard in junior high school. He went on exactly zero dates in high school. He seems creepy because he has never learned to fit into American life.

    What I just described is a far more likely scenario than him being a stalking child molester.”

    No no no… what you just described is Stan.

    CB

  83. Victor Emmer is a gay man who likes talking to kids… not that there’s anything wrong with that!!

  84. Stan “Don’t worry Fluffy, if I see your kid (or anybody else’s) drowning, I’ll save him or her. But of course, that’s what makes me a man and you….well…you.”

    Raaar! It takes a real man to sanction throwing around wild legal charges as though there are no consequences! Let’s be real men and accuse the guilty and innocent alike!

    And, if you’re willing to go ballistic on people for non-criminal behavior and attempt to have them thrown in jail on BS charges, yes, people are going to ignore your child’s safety. Better than having their lives ruined by your kid’s lunatic father.

  85. Have a seat over there, please, Stan.

  86. Don’t worry Fluffy, if I see your kid (or anybody else’s) drowning, I’ll save him or her. But of course, that’s what makes me a man and you….well…you.

    I’m sure you think that should hurt my feelings or something absurd like that, but you can’t have it both ways morally.

    You can’t make it simultaneously morally blameworthy to interact with someone else’s kids, and morally necessary to do so to maintain “man-ness” or whatever stupid trope you think you’re standing up for.

    You can either construct a society where it is morally blameless and legally absolutely riskless to behave with what used to pass for “normal” friendliness and concern, or not. And once you choose “not”, I’m not impressed by your complaints.

  87. thoreau: “The greatest irony would be if Stan showed up on one of those Dateline specials.”

    How do we know he’s not posting from a prison computer?

  88. You guys are something else. troll-keeper calls me a troll, I respond. J sub D calls me an idiot, I respond. Fluffy tells me he wishes my kids would fucking die, I respond…and I’m the douche?

    Too much.

  89. thoreau, unlike J sub D, you are a heavyweight around here. It’s a shame when you stoop to the obvious joke level. I think you can recoup though, I have faith in you. Keep at ’em.

  90. Stan: “You guys are something else. troll-keeper calls me a troll, I respond. J sub D calls me an idiot, I respond. Fluffy tells me he wishes my kids would fucking die, I respond…and I’m the douche?

    Too much.”

    Get off your cross. You say that you “responded,” but omit that you did so in such a way as to demonstrate that you’re a moonbat. Again, if you wish for a society where being aware of and interacting with children around you is cause for suspicion, you’re sowing the seeds for a society where people would rather let their children die than face the wrath of an insane father. After all, maybe your kids will pull through after the horrible bike accident. But there’s a 100% compound probability of you being an unreasonable fruitcake.

  91. Stan,

    Sorry, but J sub D owns your ass. Beeyotch.

  92. I should have said, “rather let YOUR children die.”

  93. And I freely admit I’m a lightweight but enjoy forums that elevate the discourse. In the particular thread, your overprotective tripe does not.

  94. The key sentence here is “we felt it justified a criminal complaint.”

    It is apparent that this officer, in spite of being in the law enforcement field, doesn’t have a clear understanding of what a valid criminal complaint is or is not. The man could have talked to the kids a hundred times; that is not, of itself, evidence of criminal intent.

    He should be let go because he is not competent in the field of law enforcement in which he is supposedly trained.

  95. OK, who’s posting as famous physicists?

    And why haven’t you posted as Newton yet?

    There is but one God, and Newton is His prophet.

  96. Much better thoreau.

  97. Thoreau, a beer for you.

  98. It is people like Stan who make me despair for the United States.

    Based on what can only be called hearsay, he is ready to condemn this individual as a pedophile and essentially throw out the Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments – not just for the individual in question, but for anybody who someone thinks is acting like a pedophile.

    What other group is too dangerous to be allowed civil liberties, Stan? Muslims? Atheists? Catholic Priests? Gays? Guess we better lock up anybody who LOOKS like one of those.

    Better watch out Stan, you could be on someone else’s list.

  99. Douglas Gray –

    I don’t know about that. At the Sac Bee link highnumber posted, someone quoted the law under which he was charged as reading:

    “every person who loiters about any school OR public place at or near which children attend or normally congregate and who remains at any school or public place at or near which children attend or normally congregate, OR who reenters or comes upon a school or place within 72 hours, after being asked to leave…or a city police officer, or sheriff or deputy sheriff, or Department of the California Highway Patrol peace officer is a vagrant, and is punishable by a fine of not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment in the county jail for not exceeding six months, or by both the fine and the imprisonment.”

    Since it says “OR” and not “AND”, this means that any person who was in the Borders at story time was subject to arrest at the arbitrary whim of the arresting officer.

    He doesn’t even have to be shown to have spoken to the kids. Or to have been there multiple times. Under CA law, it’s only necessary for him to have “loitered” and for it to be demonstrated that children regularly congregate there.

    This law is a pretty good example of the principle that if you can’t imagine the carnage that would ensue if the law was interpreted literally and enforced in every instance where it applies without exception, you obviously have an unjust, corrupt, and brutal law.

  100. Doug “The man could have talked to the kids a hundred times; that is not, of itself, evidence of criminal intent.”

    But, as a parent, you probably want to take action before abuse occurs. Yet, we’d like to live in a society where it’s not necessary to keep our kids under 24 hour supervision. So, when should the police step in? Can/should the parent request a restraining order? I have to agree that this was overkill, but if a stranger is frequently talking to my kids while I’m not around, I’m going to suspect he has bad intentions. What would constitute evidence of intent?

  101. I’m the one posting as famous physicists. And Johann is an impostor.

  102. “I respond…and I’m the douche?”

    It’s the substance, not the fact of, your responses that makes you a douche.

  103. matt moore, do you disregard the “substance” I was responding to? If so, why?

  104. Stan, why don’t you reread your own responses instead of asking us to regurgitate your own obtuseness to you? If you still don’t get it, you’re not gonna get it.

  105. this wasn’t asking a girl out your own age and getting turned down three times.

    Assuming this is in reference to the story I posted earlier:

    The man actually did less than I did. Since at the time I asked her out, I was 16 and she was 15, a cop could make a case that I was acting like a pedophile (in Vermont the age of consent is 16).

  106. You guys win. I’m out.

    Besides, American Idol is on.

  107. “You guys win. I’m out.”

    Hey guys, what do you think we win?

  108. BTW, last year I coached youth football. I was sort of dared into it by the coaches at Delphi’s single wing forum. I’d like to coach again this year, provided I can install my own offense.

    Just so you know, in some jurisdictions the run’n’shoot is a jailable offense.

  109. You guys win. I’m out.

    Besides, American Idol is on.

    Why am I not surprised that Stan is an American Idol fan?

  110. You know guys, I think we all learned something today. Alter ego Max never did get a definitive answer to his criminal intent question. But, we all learned that Stan is a douche, and will gladly ignore his posts in the future.

    Tune in next week, when the theme will be … cowboys.

  111. Mike,

    You win 96,485.3399 Reason bucks, redeemable for valuable libertarian prizes.

  112. You gotta love pedophile threads at Hit & Run.

    According to the article, that fact isn’t established. Where are you deriving the proof of child molestation from?

  113. TallDave: “You win 96,485.3399 Reason bucks, redeemable for valuable libertarian prizes.”

    I hope one of those prizes is the ability to see my children grow up in a freer and better world than I did.

  114. He sounds like an Aspie to me, with his binder full of clippings, his lack of eye contact and fluttering lids, and his “inappropriate” and “awkward” social behavior.

    “It’s an odd charge” for an odd man, who was arrested for simply being odd. Poor guy.

    I hope one of those prizes is the ability to see my children grow up in a freer and better world than I did.

    At the rate we’re going? Not bloody likely.

  115. I used to teach radio theory to cub scout dens and similar groups of youngsters who expressed interest in ham radio. I will no longer do that. Our club had one of our instructors get tied up in a very nasty legal battle that ended up in the papers; it was totally without merit. The man is ruined even so.

    Some parent filled their child’s head with nonsense and fear and an innocent life is forever ruined. “Oh, there must be SOMEthing to it; he just had a good lawyer is all!”

    I am:
    middle aged and single
    never married
    no kids of my own
    to be polite about it: one of nature’s bachelors

    This combination, in the eyes of many automatically tags me as a paedphile when nothing could be further from the truth. In fact the very idea disgusts me. But Reverend Righteous said all my kind are this way, so it must be true, right?

    I am polite around folks when their kids are present but do my darnedest to steer clear of them as much as I possibly can.

  116. The law classifies the alleged behavior as vagrancy and punishes it by a 6-month prison sentence and small fine. Maybe at the trial it will turn out the guy actually violated the law – that’s what trials are supposedly for.

    But he’s being accused of *vagrancy,* and the bail is $100,000.

    I would think that alleged vagants should have a much smaller bond, commensurate with the (smaller) gravity of the charge.

    The kind of people who get picked up for vagrancy don’t always have the resources to raise $100,000 bond. Maybe this guy did. But for certain kinds of defendants in vagrancy cases, this could amount to lengthy pretrial detention. The detention may even last longer than six months.

  117. I’m disappointed…all these posts, and not a single “when you have children, you’ll understand.” The trolling quality has noticeably deteriorated.

    On MadMax’s point above, I wonder if the courts have yet cemented a “pedophile exception” to the 8th amendment’s prohibition on excessive bail.

  118. Police state!!!

  119. This combination, in the eyes of many automatically tags me as a paedphile when nothing could be further from the truth. In fact the very idea disgusts me. But Reverend Righteous said all my kind are this way, so it must be true, right?

    From what I’ve seen and/or read in the mainstream media the last several years about “men of the cloth” and children I would hazzard a guess that “Reverend Righteous” is just afraid of a little competition.

  120. “He is not a registered sex offender in Folsom or California and we have not found any information to indicate he has any prior offenses,” said Lt. Sheldon Sterling of the Folsom Police Department.

    No priors.

    No currents.

    Possible future based on activity that millions of people normally do.

    Jail bitch.

  121. It’s to bad Stan had to go, I was going to agree with him. We can’t wait for a child molester to actually commit a crime before taking action. It is just too heinous a crime.

    And since we know that nearly all child molesters are unmarried white males over 50 years of age that do not have kids of their own, I say we just throw everyone who meets that criteria in prison.

    Then we will know all our kids will be safe and well…

  122. Stan | March 25, 2008, 7:17pm | #
    “The parents and librarians did keep a close eye on him. That “close eye” is what gave them the information that he was showing up (over and over again) to kiddie events that seemingly normal 49 year-old childless men don’t normally show up to and attempting to talk to children in spite of their parents wishes.”

    Except for this bit – the only way to know something is against one’s wishes is to express that directly to the person. The concerned mother, and perhaps rightly concerned, did not express to this man that she was creeped out by his conversation with her children and that he should refrain from it. Because of that inaction, the man only found out it was against her wishes ex post facto and from someone who was not present at the time.

    Apparently the old saying about assumption doesn’t about to moms with young children.

  123. Where in the hell was the muthrfukin mother when this was happening? If she would have been with her kids like she should have been, the incident would have never happened…Damm BITCH!
    This kids will be the future kids that will probably be out in the streets at 2 a.m. because they are bored..where are their parents?/


  124. It’s simple, really. Do not talk to any children in public under any circumstances. Don’t approach them for any reason, no matter how severe it appears. This rule holds up to and including things like, if you see someone’s kid run into the street in front of cars, don’t try to help them – let them die.

    Sound advice to give to a man. A woman needn’t worry about this, so she doesn’t have to constrict her life in this way. It’s rather amusing, actually, to watch the rather incredulous look you get when you tell a woman that’s how you treat children. She just doesn’t get it.

  125. After reading this thread I’ve come to the conclusion that Stan should not be allowed to interact with HIS OWN kids. 🙂

    Anyway, here are the comments on the original story in the Sacramento Bee: http://www.sacbee.com/dyn/comments/standard/comments_separate.html?uri=http://www.sacbee.com/102/story/798319.html&o=d&ud=u&avatar=n&tie_to=798319&url_type=1&headline=Cops%20interested%20in%20anyone%20who%20encountered%20loitering%20suspect

    One of the story commenter’s apparently talked with the guy once. From her description of him he sounds like an adult autistic, or has some other neurological problem that interferes with social interaction. Folks with these types of problems generally aren’t aware of social etiquette and might not know that it’s “creepy” to talk to children.


  126. I forget, you guys just love to stick up for pedophiles in the name of freedom.

    Talking to children is now evidence of sexual intent?


  127. According to this thread, the parents are wrong, the kids a wrong,and the establishment owners are wrong. Everyone is wrong except the 50 year old man continuously showing up a kiddie events talking to toddlers against the will of parents.

    You’re making assumptions. The article doesn’t say that he was warned off and talked to the kids anyway. It only says that he talked to them and that the mom didn’t like it.

  128. Oh, and to answer Chris Potter’s “if you were a parent, you’d understand” request: I am a parent of a six month old daughter. When she’s older, would I let my daughter talk to a man like this? Sure. If he was “creepy” would I still let her? You bet, and we’d talk about it afterwards. Would I call the police? No. She should learn how to react to creepiness and protect herself if necessary.

    Now, if he ever did anything that I deemed overtly threatening I’d come over, shake his hand, make sure the grip was strong, and look him in the eye at all times. If it happened after that, I’d make sure the handshake cracked a finger or two…

    And he wouldn’t get a third try…

  129. matt moore | March 25, 2008, 8:44pm | #

    “I respond…and I’m the douche?”

    “It’s the substance, not the fact of, your responses that makes you a douche.”

    Isn’t there a BAG after douche?


  130. You can drop your paranoid delusions – how many people have really been charged with anything because they spoke to a kid in a park, or they helped a girl who fell on a path? One? Two?

    You don’t remember what it’s like being childless. Lots of fathers don’t. I guarantee that if said man had been there with kids, or absent kids been in the company of a woman, that mom wouldn’t have had him arrested. Is this because men don’t molest a stranger’s children if he has his own? Hardly. It’s because certain assumptions are made in our society about who you are based on what you look like.

  131. I only read half the responses, so this may have been discussed. I have no problem stopping to help a child who is hurt or in a snow bank in the middle of the road, but I have a cell phone. ALWAYS call the cops before aproching the child to tell them of the incident and don’t hang up until they or the parents get there. You are now on record as having tried to involve the nanny state to fix every problem, and it will go much better for you in court.

  132. Come back, Shane Stan!

  133. I see now how I should be concerned by that creepy Ronald MacDonald character. Next time I see him I’ll be calling the cops.

  134. No, there doesnt need to be a bag after douche.

    I just thought I’d help out here.

  135. and for lack of a better term, he creeped the mom out.

    [sigh]

    It isn’t the creepy guys who molest children. It’s the “but he’s such a nice guy!” folks. And it’s very seldom a “stranger.”

  136. Was he making little balloon animals and giving them to the children? That’s shoot-on-sight creepy, if you asks me.

  137. Over 130 comments, and no one brought up _Don’t Stand so Close to Me_. Until now, that is.

  138. I knew the Reasonoids hated kids, but I had no idea they are actually ok with children being preyed upon. You people are sick. But what do you expect from a bunch of Ron Paul supporters?

    Screw all of you creepy fuckwits, this is my last post here. And fuck you, highnumber.

  139. this is my last post here

    * rubs hands in glee *

  140. Wow just the other day at the mall a little 6 or 7 year old girl came up to me crying asking to help find her mommie. Damn glad I told her to get fucked and walked away. If their children are so precious why aren’t the parents making damn sure nothing happens to them after all it is THEIR kid?

  141. Damn glad I told her to get fucked

    sexual harassment

    It isn’t the creepy guys who molest children. It’s the “but he’s such a nice guy!” folks. And it’s very seldom a “stranger.”

    Well, I’d agree — except that I wouldn’t say that creepy guys are above suspicion. But it salts me that the “but he’s such a nice guy!” protest is often used in cases of domestic or child abuse.

    However, this is ludicrous. I agree that the mother should have started by saying something to the man directly. The police only should have been involved if the man continually ignored parents’ direct requests to stop interacting with their kids. Running to the police every time someone does something you don’t like is not the way to be a good citizen.

  142. “Edward’s Intellectual Property Lawyer”?

    Now, THERE’s a poverty level job.

  143. 3 times establishes a pattern

    Yeah, a pattern of being harmless. What else can be concluded from:
    3 events –> no harm
    ?

    Anyway, he doesn’t seem to be singling out children, if you follow the interactive blog at the Sacramento Bee. Adults are bugged that he talks to them about seeing a mongoose and pets their dogs for an hour, but of course they don’t tell him that to his face!

    Indeed, I observed a long time ago that some of the big problems in this world arise from our unwillingness to say no to people. It gives us problems with crazy people (we’d rather have them institutionalized and out of our sight than to have to say no to their face) and people in all sorts of need (we don’t want to help them ourselves but we also don’t want to refuse them, so we force the job on the public).

    Actually this guy reads like fun. I wish there were more people as apparently interesting as he is. He must be, if so many people pay so much att’n to what he says & does.

  144. Edward’s Intellectual Property Lawyer | March 26, 2008, 12:57pm | #

    this is my last post here

    * rubs hands in glee *

    That was damned good.

  145. For the record, that last post wasn’t me. I assume it was highnumber, given the thinly veiled clue in the last sentence.

    Oh, and “J sub Par” is still a lightweight.

  146. Stan | March 26, 2008, 10:05pm | #

    For the record, that last post wasn’t me.

    *sigh*

  147. How come no one arrested the kids’ mom? She was also hanging around children at all three events.

  148. I’m a transgendered school parent and i think the level of fact and paranoia in the usa is fitting. some cranky under fed moms gets her panties in a bunch and next thing you know the flics are involved,so sad, so sick,and the poor kids what with all the God programing, and political hellishness , what do you expect? issue every creepy person a nice visitor card to give the children, with dna info, and voila.

  149. It’s a sad day and age when people are described as “leftist” for seeing something wrong with arresting someone for doing something that is not illegal, just a bit creepy at best. Particularly someone with no history.

    “Yes, let’s just make up laws and hold people for doing nothing at all!”

    Great idea.

    This is absolutely atrocious and an injustice. Shameful.

  150. This man was completely and utterly wronged for no good reason.

  151. hi all, i live in massachusetts where DOC EMMER is from…i have personally known him since 1995 to present day..DOC EMMER is a srt8 guy…he he ever said hi to a kid it was because the mom was hott…and he tries to spark up convo in that manner…EMMER is a true friend and completely harmless…he’s EMMER to us…a little zany and socially different but kind and helpful…

  152. OH YEAH…EMMER in massachusetts would hang out in boarders to meet smart chicks…he loves to go to libraries…afterall he is a DOC in massachusetts…he is always reading/studing there…quiet and peaceful…DOC EMMER IS A WELL AND RESPECTED GREAT MAN IN MY STATE THAT IS!!

  153. PS…DOC EMMER WAS STUDYING TO RECEIVE A PEDIATRICS DEGREE WORKING WITH CHILDREN…HE HAS BEEN A DOCOTR FOR 20 PLUS YEARS…

  154. my grandfather told me something when i was a kid, he said, “THE STRONGEST DUMBEST GUYS IN HIGHSCHOOL BECOME THE “LOCAL POLICE”…these guys werent smart enough to go to college or start their own business…most cops were bullies in highschool or were picked on in highschool!!!…LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT PROVE THIS EVERYDAY IN ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD!!

  155. HI ALL, I LIVE IN MASSACHUSETTS WHERE DOC EMMER IS FROM…I HAVE PERSONALLY KNOWN DOCTOR EMMER SINCE 1995 TO PRESENT DAY..DOC EMMER IS A STR8 GUY…IF HE HAD EVER SAID, “HI” TO A KID IT WAS BECAUSE THE MOM IS HOTT OR OUT OF SOCIAL POLITENESS…HE TRIES TO SPARK UP CONVO WITH WOMEN IN THIS MANNER..DOC EMMER IS A TRUE FRIEND AND IS COMPLETELY HARMLESS…HE IS DOC EMMER TO US…A LITTLE ZANY AND SOCIALLY DIFFERENT BUT MORE THAN KIND AND THOUGHTFUL …OH YEAH…WHILE DOC EMMER LIVED IN MASSACHUSETTS HE WOULD HANG OUT AT BOARDERS, LIBRARIES ETC IN HOPES TO PEACEFULLY READ AND MEET SMART CHICKS…HE LOVES TO GO TO LIBRARIES…AFTER ALL, DOC EMMER IS A DOC IN MASSACHUSETTS…HE IS ALWAYS READING AND STUDYING IN QUITE AND PEACEFUL AREAS…DOC EMMER IS A WELL RESPECTED GREAT MAN IN MY STATE!!..PS…DOC EMMER WENT TO CALIFORNIA TO EARN AN ADDITIONAL DEGREE IN PEDIATRICS TO HELP INJURED CHILDREN…HE HAS BEEN A DOCTOR FOR 20 PLUS YEARS……………AS FOR THE POLICE……………..IN CLOSING MY GRANDFATHER TOLD ME SOMETHING WHEN I WAS A KID, HE SAID, “THE STRONGEST DUMBEST GUYS IN HIGHSCHOOL BECOME THE “LOCAL POLICE”…THESE GUYS WERENT SMART ENOUGH TO GO TO COLLEGE OR START AND OPERATE A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS…MOST COPS WERE BULLIES OR “PICKED ON” IN HIGHSCHOOL!!!…LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT PROVE THIS EVERYDAY IN ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD!!…BULLIES WITHOUT INTREGRITY!!!…SO SORRY FOR ANY GRAMMAR/SPELLING MISTAKES…AMC

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