Thursday, August 21, 2008

A little less trusting of the world

A horrible thing happened earlier today. I'm not even sure that I want to write about it (and yet here I am)... thinking about it makes my hands shake again.

I took Atticus and Elora to the park this morning. Not our usual park just around the corner but another one a little further away, but still walking distance. Atti calls it the "Special Purple Park" because of the dual purple slides.

We had a pleasant wander along the bike track to get there. I'd wanted to check it out for a while now (it's new). There was noone else there, which I was quite pleased about. Not long after we arrived, a man came and sat down at the park bench/picnic table next to the playground. He had a shirt and tie and business pants on, with some papers and a book. He sat down and started reading and working. I assumed that he was just taking a break in the middle of the day.

A few times I noticed him watching the kids and I and smiling. I didn't think anything of it, as lots of people like to watch kids play and smile at their cute antics. I know I do.

But then he hunched over and put his hands in his crotch. It took me a good minute or two before I realised what he was doing - jerking off! I couldn't believe it! I was horrified. Not knowing WHAT to do, I rang Dan. He told me to "Get out of there!" and to call the cops and suggested I call my father to come and meet us. I did the latter, but the kids weren't ready to leave yet. When I turned around (I was trying not to look at him or encourage him) he was gone. I called the police, not sure if 000 was the right number for this sort of thing. Thankfully, the operator reassured me that this was the correct thing to do and got details before sending a car out to investigate. The guy had left some "DNA" behind on the park bench (eeyou!) and they might get a sample.

Thankfully, the kids were completely unaware of anything that was going on and were happy playing. They were especially excited when my dad appeared, thank goodness. We slowly made our way home and my mother made me a wonderful cup of tea to calm my nerves.

But, ack. I wouldn't call myself naive but I do have faith that people will generally do the right thing and our world is fairly safe. After today, I find that I'm a little less trusting of strangers and that little bit more protective of my kids.

It makes me very sad.


wongcr said...

YUK! eeewwwwwww!!

This is where using your phonecam is really useful. I've photo'd crims and beamed the pictures to security guards and cops.
They really appreciate it, especially since this is more reliable than someones memory given to an identikit artist...

Shanathalas said...

That would shake me up too. I'm glad you called the cops and I hope they catch the man.