Yet another case of a scary van driving around in a clear attempt to kidnap children that turns out to be a false alarm.
The CBC reports:
Concerned parents in Conception Bay South can rest easy after the driver of a van accused of trying to lure an eight-year-old boy came forward to say he was just reminiscing about his time living in the neighbourhood.
On Wednesday, parent Imran Azizan spoke out about his son's experience being trailed by men inside a blue van and followed home from school on Monday.
But after CBC News reported on the story, the man came forward and visited Azizan and his wife Julie's home to apologize for the confusion.
In a Facebook status update, Julie Azizan said her son and family are relieved after their worst suspicions turned out to be unfounded.
Got that? "Unfounded." The guys in the van used to live in the neighborhood. The driver said that the Azizan boy reminded him of his grandson.
Truly, though, I can understand how the kid got scared: The van actually pulled right in front of his house. But when the van owner heard reports of a creepy guy on the loose and realized it was HIM, he hurried over to explain the mistake. And so the mom went on Facebook to say:
Guess who just came to my door! The older man driving the blue van, coming to apologize to Cole, for frightening him and reassuring him that he did the right thing in calling for help. There were three people in the van, driving slowly up the cul de sac pointing and wrapping on the window in front of our house. The reason....They used to live in neighbourhood and they were basically reminiscing...they were pointing at Cole because he looks like his grandson. They thought about putting the window down to let him know who they were (they could see he was afraid) but decided to just go on. Needless to say, he heard the news and realized they were talking about him! so...crisis averted, street hockey can resume. Cole was so relieved, as are mom and dad! Scary that we live in a world where the worst case scenario is actually a real possibility.
I'm thrilled the whole thing was resolved. But I must take exception to that last line:
Scary that we live in a world where the worst case scenario is actually a real possibility.
We live in a world where any scenario is a possibility -- even the possibility that an eagle could crash through the skylight and snatch a baby from its crib.
So we can't feel bad about living in a world where tragic scenarios are possible.
But we also shouldn't take a NON event -- some guys driving around their old neighborhood -- and use it to reinforce the idea that we live in a dangerous world. When a crime does NOT happen, let us leave it at that. Let us NOT treat it as an object lesson for how dangerous and scary it COULD have been.
Recall that just a week or two ago some random guy gave kids an Oreo cake and drove off. Once again, nothing dangerous happened, but it was reported as a case of "stranger danger."
We have got to wean ourselves off the idea that something bad happening and something bad NOT happening both teach us the same scary lesson. It's not fair to reality, it's not fair to childhood, and it's not fair to the guys who did nothing wrong. - L