Thursday, September 04, 2008

Brush with Evil

Usually I try to share something that has at least some entertainment value. The following isn’t even remotely funny. It is just something that I think is an important reminder to everyone to not only keep an eye on your own kids, but also help look out for other kids. There are predators out there.

We went shopping at Wal-Mart over the weekend. I had the baby and Claire while Katie went with her dad to the shoe department. I went to electronics to admire the LCD TV’s and then we went to the video game section. Claire saw the display controller and asked what it was. I told her and pointed out the monitor over her head. She asked if she could play it and I told her that was fine. I then started looking at the game systems on the other side of the aisle, just a few feet away. It was then that I saw a guy come over and start looking at games.

The first thing that struck me about the guy was the thought flashing through my head that he didn’t belong. He had the air of someone that lived alone. I remember thinking that he looked too old to be interested in the games for himself so it just seemed strange that he was there.

He moved away from me but when I turned to check on Claire, he was standing next to her. He was standing closer than he should have been in an uncrowded aisle. I could see him glancing to the side looking at her and it made me uncomfortable. It’s difficult to really explain but the way he looked at her was the way a normal man might look at a grown woman working in a strip club, not the way anyone should look at a little girl. He was not one of those people that just likes kids, he did not smile or talk. He just leered.

As soon as I realized that, I took Claire and we went to a different area of that department. We were then looking at cameras when all of a sudden he was back. This time he managed to make his way in between the two of us and he was once again right next to Claire. At that time I was sure that there was something wrong and I wanted to get Claire away from him. I made a point of telling her that we needed to find her dad so he would not think we were alone in the store.

After meeting up with everyone else, we left the store. Once we got everyone strapped in, I told Claire’s dad about the weird guy looking at Claire. He immediately started describing the guy and asked me if that was him. I couldn’t believe he knew who I was talking about. He explained that the same guy was following Katie in the shoe department. It made him uncomfortable as well and he had taken Katie out of there because of it.

I called store security after hearing this. They alerted the associates in the departments children frequent to make sure that everyone was safe. The police and Wal-Mart are going over the security tapes to determine if he is a known pedophile. I’m still waiting to hear back on the identification. I would bet money that regardless of whether he is listed in the database as a known offender, the guy was not interested in electronics. He was interested in kids.


Sass said...

Thank you for sharing this story. It brought tears to my eyes. Something as simple as going shopping isn't even essentially safe for little girls (or women for that matter) anymore.

You and your husband should pat yourselves on the back, though, for both being able to describe the man and for listening to that gut instinct.


Mia said...

oh man, that gives me goosebumps!

J. said...

That is creepy, SO glad you and the girls' father were paying attention!

Stefanie said...

Wow good for you for being so proactive about this! Most people just sort of think the next person will alert authorities but you took the predator by the hornies, so to speak. Thanks.

Nichole said...

That is just terribly creepy. I'm so glad you reported it to the store.