Free-Range Kids

Sex Offender Drives Past Bus Stop, Minds Own Business. But Cops Were Called.

Think of the children.


Kevin Lohka

You'll never guess what happened in Palos Park, Illinois, this week: A sex offender drove his car by a school bus stop.

Oh my!

Did he threaten children? Abduct them?

Well, no. He didn't even get out of his car, actually.

But… the children! They were in danger, right?

Nope. "No students were involved in this incident," according to the police. (Incident? What was the incident, then?)

So, no kids were involved, but they could have been. Imagine that! It's so horrifying. Then they would have seen the guy drive right by them.

Apparently some parents noticed an unfamiliar red Hyundai and alerted the cops. reports:

The police chief [Joe Miller] said the man's red Hyundai drew the attention of parents waiting for their youngsters at the school bus stop. The parents noticed the vehicle traveling through the area several times this past week.

"The car looked out of place to them," Miller said. "We wanted to follow up on it. The car came back registered to a sex offender."

Miller added that there were no furtive movements. The man did not violate his sex offender registration.

The police questioned the man. Turns out he kept driving by each day for the very creepy and bizarre reason that this happens to be the route to his job.

So the guy did nothing but drive his car down the street. And yet the cops praised the parents for calling the authorities:

"Parents were being alert and vigilant. Something looked out of place and they called police," the chief added. "They did what they were supposed to do."

Apparently, that's what parents are supposed to do these days: freak out at red Hyundais. Naturally, the police proceeded to notify the school district, and naturally, the superintendent notified even more parents.

Now everyone knows about a guy who was not violating his parole, did not get out of his car, and did not encounter any students. But still. Scary.