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.

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

    The incident was the police involvement. They meant that no stray police bullets or flash-bang grenades struck any children this time nor was any taser deployed on any students this time.

    1. I have called the police about suspicious cars driving in my neighborhood.
      Because I do not want to get robbed.

      Turns out that a lot of those suspicious would be robber cars carry occupants that make me think; “that guy looks like a child molester”.
      Normally because they drive such shitty looking kidnapper cars.

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

    “A rice-burner on this block? In Donald Trump’s America? Agnes, call the police.”

  3. Don’t wanna be a thug, don’t go driving a Hyundai.

  4. Miller added that there were no furtive movements.

    As much as responding officers tried, the perp wouldn’t bite.

    1. Yep this is a guy who knew if he reached for his wallet or even scratched his nose he’d be a dead man.

    2. Miller added, “not really sure what furtive means but it has been used in other cop pressers before so….”

  5. “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.”

    “If more parents would keep us busy with this kind of thing, I could petition the council for another two officers. Maybe budget some up-armor for the MRAP or espresso machine.”

    1. +1 mission creep

      1. Its not scope creep until they get the sniper rifles.

  6. Nanny state in full bloom. If these parents are so worried about pedophiles then why do they keep electing them to office.

  7. parents noticed an unfamiliar red Hyundai

    “That’s not *Lynette’s* Hyundai! Hers has a Bernie sticker!”

  8. So parents waiting for their kids at the bus stop see the same car passing by each day, or frequently, and automatically think something foul is afoot? Seems implausible. First, most of those parents would have had their heads buried into Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platform. Second, how many people recognize the same car day-to-day especially one as plain as a red Hyundai. Third, if a red Hyundai looks out of place to them, what kind of neighborhood is this, nothing less than a BMW series 7 allowed? Maybe one of the parents knew that this guy was a registered sex offender, was uncomfortable seeing him anywhere near a school, and called the police to further harass him.

    1. Maybe one of the parents knew that this guy was a registered sex offender…

      Probably this. Then they decided to have the cops harass him just for shits and giggles because being a registered sex offender is the modern day scarlet letter.

  9. parents noticed an unfamiliar red Hyundai

    How about requiring any wanna-be “Neighborhood Watch” types to list their neighbors’ cars from memory?

    1. Yeah, I’m convinced that someone was either looking at the registry thinking “That guy lives too close to me.” or that somebody phoned in a ‘reddish-maroonish Honda or Hyundai, with a license plate ending in XXX’ and when the Police reached into their binders of deplorables, this nail was the tallest.

    2. “Can you even name the make of your neighbor’s car that is constantly parked in front of your house, sometimes blocking your driveway. I’ll give you 5mins to think about it. Half points for just the color….”

  10. some parents noticed an unfamiliar red Hyundai and alerted the cops

    I can’t imagine living in a hellhole where this is a thing.

  11. I’m normally with Reason on this stuff, but there’s got to be more to the story. Obviously something creeped out the parents about this guy as opposed to all the other people driving down the street. And what a coincidence the guy who creeped out the parents happens to be a sex offender.

    Occam’s razor: dude was cruising and leering repeatedly. Calling cops was reasonable.

    1. Occam’s razor: dude was cruising and leering repeatedly. Calling cops was reasonable.

      I haven’t seen you around here before and am severely questioning your libertarian bona fides. Mind pointing to some of your other posts where you support the resolution of this sort of thing without state intervention?

      If not, feel free to fuck off slaver. Thanks.

      1. ^ Might be an authoritarian.

    2. You think that that is a simpler explanation than some busybody looking at the sex offender’s web page recognized a guy, and decided to get some sh*t stirred up? Knowing the sort of people who use the Facebooks and the Twitters?

      Do you even Internet, bro?

    3. Hmmm, Palos Park IL…

      97% White, 96% above the poverty line, median income $78,000

      I can think of quite a few things that “creeped” out those parents and had nothing to do with leering.

      For starters, Social Darwinist’s suggestion above that the car in question just didn’t “fit” into that neighborhood where even the poor people drive late model Toyota’s at the very least down to the strong possibility that it had more to do with the skin color of the driver than anything else

      1. So you’re thinking they call the cops on a daily basis, but this one got reported because the target this time happened to be on the list? Of course, unless I missed something, it’s possible this guy’s inclusion on the list was for public urination and had nothing to do with children.

        1. No I’m thinking that they like so many other upper middle class helicopter parents are hypersensitive to stranger danger and seeing a car that does not fit into the neighborhood wealth profile or a person with a little too dark of a tan makes them instantly go into defense mode.

          In otherwords, to a certain kind of person poor and/or dark skinned people are automatically suspicious and a threat.

          1. Yep-I looked up the sex offender list for our zip code once just out of interest and did not see a single white person, even though the zip is over 90% white.

      2. I’m looking it up, and all the child raping sex offenders from Orland Park are white. And quite a lot of them are seriously weird or creepy looking.

        Wait, there was one Sanchez (normal looking Hispanic) and one Arab (weird+creepy looking)

    4. Skenazy is a propagandist so of course there’s more to it. The fact that she so easily reels in the rubes is entertaining.

    5. Most registries require not only the person’s name and address, but the make/ model and license plate number of their care or any car they drive on a regular basis. No doubt that some nosey, vigilant neighbor gathered that same info and already knew this SO when he drove by. Mr. or Mrs. Vigilant now feels all warm and fuzzy about the good they have done for the community and the children. While s/he was at it, the SO was probably late for work due his existing in a paranoid neighborhood and risking a job that was probably hard to find in the first place.

      1. Illinois does not list car make, model, or plate.

    6. Sex offender doesn’t equal pedophile kidnapper.

  12. This actually does happen out in the country. Sometimes, when you see a suspicious car lurking around:
    [1] you get the meet the neighbor’s new in-laws, and you offer them your old barbeque grill;
    [2] you chase off some door-to-door proselytizers, sometimes after offering them tea;
    [3] you warn that shifty kid that they better not be messing around their barn, you’ve got your eye on them;
    [4] you call Abigail’s parents, warn them about her new boyfriend lurking around her window, and then spend quite some time comparing notes on the raising of teenagers.

    The police are never called.

    1. Nice suburban moms haven’t internalized the reality that cops are not on your side.

  13. It wasn’t Denny Hastert was it?

  14. I agree with WC. It seems odd that the busy bodies just happened to finger a sex offender.

    Of course, maybe they call the cops every week. But then the cops would stop coming.

    1. Not in an affluent village of less than 5000 people, “This is why we pay taxes” and “my brother is a golfing buddy of [insert bigwig’s name here]” will keep the otherwise under-employed cops showing up even if it’s just to show the taxpayers that a black & white is on patrol to keep their kids safe.

  15. The comments on the linked article are heartening.

  16. I find this very difficult to believe, as reported. What I believe is the most feasible explanation is a parent found out a sex offender lived in the neighborhood, found out what car he drove, and then began reporting him (and encouraging other mothers to do likewise). This is another reason I abhor these registry lists, they create environments of harassment of an otherwise law-abiding citizen.

    1. This seems plausible.

    2. I bet you’re right. You know why I hate these lists? Because they are a permanent punishment for the convicted (or plea bargained). If these folks, as the list makers argue, truly cannot pay their debt to society via jail time nor rehabilitate themselves, then they shouldn’t be out of jail.

      1. Yes, it makes a complete mockery out of the entire criminal justice establishment.

        What other lists are they going to come up with?

        1. There is an unlimited number of Lists of the Unapproved that the creative statist can imagine. How about a List of People That Disapprove of Reasonable Lists?

          1. They could just combine the lists we’re already on.

        2. A lot of people are already starting to take the idea of an animal abuse list seriously and I’ve seen calls for a domestic violence list (only for men of course)

        3. I reported myself to Attack Watch, does that count?

      2. “If you’re not on a government list by now you ought to be ashamed of yourself”

        Unknown Internet Ranter

  17. Instead of a red Hyundai he should have gotten a beige Toyota Camry. No one ever notices beige cars, or Toyota Camrys.

  18. “some parents noticed an unfamiliar red Hyundai and alerted the cops”
    So exactly how does an unfamiliar red Hyundai differ from a familiar red Hyundai?
    And why does the story not specify what kind of “sex offender” it was? The teenage just over the age with a girlfriend just under the age kind, the “dirty picture” texting kind, the pedophile kind, the kind dumb enough to take a plea deal when innocent? Or does it really matter?
    Did the police investigation include the suspicious group of adults that were hanging around the bus stop EVERY DAY looking closely at the children? What were the results of those guys? Did they use the thin excuse that they were there to pick up their own children? What a farce!
    Another good reason to end busing.

    1. Another good reason to end busing.

      lolwut – that came out of left field.

      1. Abuse: has a bus in it.

    2. I think it was the famous Hollywood director kind of offender. Oh wait, red Hyundai, never mind.

  19. You know what ought to be illegal? Parents waiting at the friggin’ bus stop for their kids.

    1. Actually depending on the ages of the kids it is likely illegal for the parents to *NOT* be waiting at the bus stop as the bus will not allow the kids to get off the bus unless an adult is there to meet them.

      1. Actually depending on the ages of the kids it is likely illegal for the parents to *NOT* be waiting at the bus stop as the bus will not allow the kids to get off the bus unless an adult is there to meet them.

        Agreed. However, your supposition that it’s based on something as sensible and clean cut as the age of the kids is (likely) a bit askew from reality.

      2. You know, I can’t think of any parent so paranoid when I was growing up to walk their kids to school or the bus stop after the first few times to make sure they knew the way or to met them there or any of today’s nonsense. And that included crossing at least one main thoroughfare. Nor do I recall any kid I ever knew or heard of that got attacked by anyone in between. Today’s kids are again as safe as we were when I was young.

        What is going on with this BS, people? How are they going to grow up if they aren’t allowed to do anything for themselves to begin with? The only way to learn responsibility is to be given responsibilities. The only way to learn independence is to be independant. Not everything right off the bat, but you keep giving them as much as they’re ready for and then tug it back a bit when you have to if they screw up.

  20. But the guy was not shot dead. So we must all take a moment to thank the Police here.

  21. Well there’s five minutes I’ll never get back.

  22. There’s not enough info in this article to be useful. How old is the guy? Did he abduct young children or is he 17 or 18 and his girlfriend was 16 and the girls parents or school screwed them both? It might have been something like she sexted him, unsolicited, and someone got wind of it.

    If he is a nefarious child abuser – who cares if he’s hassled from time to time? If it’s any of the other items then he’s screwed again.

    Can anyone say Title IX?

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