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Father Arrested for Leaving His Kids at the Park for Two Hours

Written by Gary North on August 22, 2012

A Pittsburgh man left two children alone in a local park for two hours. One was 6. The other was 9.

A woman in the park called the police. They arrested the man. The charge? Child endangerment.

A web blog that is devoted to horror stories like this one ran the story. This alerted people in Pittsburgh, who decided to make an issue of it.

The police decided that it would be wise to back off. So, because the man attended classes on parenting, they let him go. They will not take him to trial. The follow-up story is here.

Is this a random event? No. Here is a letter from a mother in Virginia.

I  might be labelled as an overprotective parent. I don’t allow my children to spend the night at anyone’s house, and also don’t allow anyone to spend the night here unless I know the parents very well.  This is due to my own childhood trauma.

That said: I have had social services called on me twice and the police interrogate me 4 times, because apparently I am one of only two families that allows my children to play outside at all in our neighborhood (which is very safe) . Just today, I allowed all four of my children (they were all together) to go play in the field adjacent to my house. I could literally see them outside my kitchen window.  My 10 year old ran home to tell my husband and I that a cop had stopped and was interrogating my oldest daughter.

No, this was not after dark, it was at 4pm on a Saturday.  So my husband walked out to see what was going on, and the police officer even wrote up a report, stating that the children were left outside unsupervised.

So, since I am new to Virginia, I asked my neighbors if this was a “Virginia” thing.  Their response was, “Well, you know it just isn’t safe anymore to allow your kids to play outside.” I thought I was overprotective making them carry cellphones to check in every 30 mins, and only allowing them wander off 1/2 of a block.  Seriously?  We asked the police if they were doing anything wrong, he said, “No they were very respectful kids, I just wanted to make sure they were okay because it was odd seeing them outside unsupervised.”  We are not talking toddlers, we’re talking teens, pre-teens and one 5 year old all together.

People at Child Protective Services need to justify their salaries. This is how they do it.

On techniques to keep them at bay, read this.

Continue Reading on freerangekids.wordpress.com

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17 thoughts on “Father Arrested for Leaving His Kids at the Park for Two Hours

  1. cagefreekids says:

    Hi TPE (a.k.a., Gary): Thanks so much for posting this. I DO devote some of my blog, Free-Range Kids, to these Child Protective Services horror stories because I am so dismayed that the government not only thinks it cares MORE about our kids that we do, it also is scared of the wrong things! It thinks kids outside are in constant danger, so it harasses parents who let their kids go out and play. I happen to think that kids INSIDE are in danger — at least MORE danger than outside — because kids who run around, exploring and playing, are happy, confident, independent kids. (Also often less fat.) So — thanks again for spreading the word! — Lenore

  2. Forcing children to be supervised all the time is a perfect tool for acclimating them to become adults who need to be supervised all the time. Children who are expelled from school for defending themselves is a perfect tool for acclimating them to become adults who won't defend themselves. This is Communism 101, and it is working. That's why we now have a big government – cradle to grave – mentality in an entire generation. If we cannot turn this around, our Republic is finished and our freedom will turn to slavery.

  3. This is bit of a reach……..but am I the only one who sees the similarity in appearance of elementary schools and prisons? They both have fences to keep in the "attendees", they both have high dollar buildings administered and staffed at government expense, and a few of the occupants are usually trying to put something over on the staff. It has long been my assertion public education is preparation to be a good inmate.

  4. How mightily things have changed. I lived a half block from the local park and I don't recall my parents ever setting foot in the place. I, however, spent a good deal of my summers from age 7 on playing in that park. Alone. I also explored the forest preserves and rode my bike to the zoo about a mile or two away. My children played outside all day every day weather permitting during the summer and after school the rest of the year. No cell phones, no beepers but I knew exactly where my children were because parents were home supervising their children. That was when you were allowed to yell at someone elses kids and not get thrown in jail or sued but thanked for correcting their child.

  5. How our world as changed – my friends in the neighborhood changed our clothes after coming home from school, went out side and were never seen by our parents until dinner time. We played all kinds of games, hide and seek, cops and robbers, etc. What a shame that we can't do that anymore because there are perverts out there just waiting to grab a child and we can't imagine what is actually going to happen to that child. It's so very, very sad.

  6. I have split feelings on this one. The children aren't kindergarden age and younger. When we were kids, we played at the playground alone all the time….then again, that was a long time ago. If the dad asked someone to keep an eye on them, then I can see it not being a big deal, if he advised where he could be reached…on the other hand, just leaving, and not know when he would be back, or if he would be back is a bit irresponsible.

  7. agreed. we did the same thing as kids.

  8. government as god and saviour. Not one ordinary citizen is capable of managing their own life, let alone the life of anyone else, especially a minor child. When I was growing up I was allowed a tremendous amount of freedom, which was paired with a large amount of responsibility and accountability. At second grade level we walked to school, about three miles, in a big city. Third grade, new town, I rode my bike, four miles. More suburban environment. High school, all of Southern California was within my reach on my bicycle, and I did so, avidly. All day long, on my own… BUT, I had already learned that friends happened to see me here and there, and mantioned it to my parents.. hey, I saw him way out there in such and such (fifty miles or more from home) on his bike.. looked like he was ding fine….” so my reports of where I rode always fit with the facts, unknown to me, that my folks had collected by chance…. since it all added up every time, the trust level was VERY high. It made me responsible, resourceful (I only one time ever asked for a ride home… early on, and made it my busness to be perpared for anything so I never would again. I didn’t. Still don’t. I’ll bet I was about the same age as the eldest of the kids playing in the adjacent field, mentioned above.

    I also know a number of nine year olds who ARE mature and responsible enough to care well for a six year old… and themselves. Instead of the coppers warting about “what might happen” to a couple of kids happily playing outside, perhaps they should be rambling about actively observing other types of behaviour, types dangerous to any kids. The REASON we have so much “risk” for kids is too many have been allowed to get clean away with unacceptable conduct.

  9. Where was this Gestapo when Trayvon Martin, the "little black boy" was wandering around in a strange neighborhood?

  10. We don't even let our kids ride the school bus. We have never put them in day care, it's a different world now but we are proud of the results take a listen to our girls playing at a Veterans Home http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4i74GXtl64w&fe

  11. I guess us baby-boomers are the last generation of children who actually learned personal responsibility and had FUN! On Saturdays after breakfast and chores Mom would just about throw us out of the house. We dug in the dirt, explored woods and brooks, bicycled all over without helmets, crossed streets all by ourselves, went to the library, movies and candy store on our own (Dad used to send us around the corner to get him a pack of cigarettes), and sometimes came home for lunch. Afterwards it was back outside with our friends and we would begin exploring all over again. When we got a cut or scrape Mom cleaned and bandaged us … and she didn't call a lawyer to sue a property owner or the town. We didn't have our Moms scheduling prearranged play dates or mandatory adult escorts to and from school (yeah, we WALKED to school). Having more than twenty years of volunteer service in my local schools and community organizations I can from experience say many of today's parents are frankly paranoid control freaks who are convinced their child is God's gift to the community. These parents are the ones who should be arrested.

  12. This is so ridiculas. I walked home almost two miles from school by myself from grade one through 12. I played in a park a block away. I walked the railroad tracks with other friends. It isn't the government's business to be taking care of our children.

  13. Public_Citizen says:

    If the parks in Pittsburg are that unsafe at 4:00 in the afternoon what does this say about the POLICE?
    Maybe parents need to start toting a shotgun when their kids are playing outside so all the handwringing hysterics can SEE that the children are being kept safe.

  14. On Saturdays my mother would drop my sister and I off at the movie theater in town. Paid the quarter admission and for 2 to 3 hours she could grocery shop and do what needed with out us. She got her choirs done and we had a blast watching Roy Rogers, and the other cowboys save the day. We had cartoons and two full length features. We new at least half of the other kids and the movies were for kids. The mothers loved this baby sitter.
    A stranger hang around would have been run off by the theater owner.

  15. jimpeel7734 says:

    CPS's budget is predicated on the number of children the confiscate. The more the find "threatened" the more workers they need and the larger their budget grows. So what does anyone with a half of a brain think their incentives are?

  16. That was my upbringing as well. My mom had a big bell on a pole outside of our garage and when it was time to come in for supper she rang that bell. You could hear it from a half mile or so away. However, I don't trust people as much to let my grandkids alone in a park with all the perversion in our society today. My oldest grandson was seven when a man drove up and called to him to come to the car. He did the right thing and yelled loudly "I don't know you! I don't know you!" and ran into the house. I heard the yelling and went out – the perv screeched out of the driveway and sped away. I would worry about these same types of people hanging around parks.

  17. My daughters school is the same. On the one hand I can understand keeping them safe. On the other it's a bit creepy having a school closely resemble a minimum security prison. In my opinion, it's just one more example of an over-bearing government.