Creepy guy at Lincoln Park playground

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    WRT aggressive panhandlers. I can’t quote the ordinance, but there is an ordinance enforced in Seattle, which prohibits aggressive panhandling. Basically I understand this to mean if a someone asks you more than once for money; he/she is being aggressive. If someone blocks or slows you down in the direction you were going; that’s aggressive panhandling.

    I have sternly told panhandlers that they are aggressivly panhandling and if they don’t get away, I will call the police (with my phone in hand). Its worked every time.



    OR…you could put your child on a leash until they are 18 and ready to leave the nest.

    I understand the parent instinct and wanting to protect your child, it is natural. There is a fine line between protecting and smothering, though. I am not making accusations, only trying to make a point. We make this world as dangerous as we want it to be. Would you pass the same judgement if this individual was in a three piece suit?

    My husband (child in the 60’s) remembers his childhood as being able to play outside all day, through his town with no parents around. He was never molested. People have to give their children more credit. If your teach your children what to look out for, and what to avoid they will probably do as you have taught them. There wasn’t stranger danger until someone created the term – AND many strangers are responsible for saving people’s lives.

    It is a good thing to be aware and educate your child, but being over protective is dangerous psychologically to the child. We have a generation of kids that have grown up being over parented and many of them are defunct of character and the ability to make a decision on their own. Believe me, I am still battling the demons of MY parents over protecting me, and I am 29!!



    Very well said HunterG.



    Originally poster here. :) The only reason I described how this man looked was in case anyone else had experienced the same thing.

    Being overweight did not make him suspicious. Being alone next to a playground, watching children, but out of the site of those on the playground is what made me uncomfortable.

    I felt I should just throw it out there in case it benefits anyone else..rather than hearing 2 weeks from now that something happened to someone and wishing I had something. I wasn’t trying to say “Watch out for overweight guys by the playground.” Just…remember to keep an eye on your children, even in a place that feels safe and familiar. You just never know.



    Very well put KatieB. Strangers are strangers, and kids are vulnerable. Better safe than sorry. I would have felt/done the same thing. You did not confront this guy or make him feel uncomfortable – and you did not unecessarily worry your kids or make them feel threatened. You were a responsible mom looking for info to back up your gut feeling, or hopefully put it to rest is all….



    I’m with you KatieB and thanks for posting that info, it only takes a second for something to happen and I always trust my gut. On a side note, I was at Roxhill last week and a mom couldn’t find her 2-year-old for about 5 minutes(she had another child with her). We were looking all around for her, busy street, bathrooms, ditch, cars coming and going from the parking lot. I probably passed by her playing a couple of times but her clothes didn’t match the description at all. Just a good reminder to carry a current picture of your child and to make a mental note of what they are wearing each day. Luckily it ended well.



    oh my goodness that is so scary!! I am glad it all worked out well




    he was sitting in a shelter… which is what must have caused him to be “out of sight” if he was also watching the children.

    have people become suspicious simply because they sit in the shade and watch what is going on around them or because they smile at the antics of children?

    Was he fondling himself? did he speak more than a few casual words to the kids? did he offer the children any enticement to come to him? Did any of the children come back from the water fountain talking about him?

    those are the signs of a man who is dangerous to children.

    Kudos to you for joining your kid at the water fountain when you noticed someone in the shelter…

    but if in the process you are teaching them that people sitting in the shade who enjoy the sound and sight of children playing are dangerous… you might be doing yourself and your kids more harm than good.

    Yes, the world is a scary place…

    One of our jobs as mothers is to teach our kids to recognize dangerous people from their expressions, words and actions …

    when we teach our kids that anyone who doesn’t look like them or who shows an interest in them is dangerous, we set them up for disaster if they ever find themselves in a situation where they have to rely on strangers.

    In that situation, the person who is most likely to help them may not look like them at all.. and will signal their willingness to help by their interest in them.

    In my opinion, you will do your child more good by speaking with stangers and letting the interaction teach them how to tell those who are just interested from those who are dangerous than by automatically protecting them. Our kids learn more from us than we think.

    Just something to think about next time you see someone “lurking” in a shelter.



    I am glad you pointed out the signs of a dangerous man so now I know that any man not displaying those signs is safe.




    depending upon your age and what you want to be safe from.. you might want to add a few more to the list..



    I’m pretty sure Olmom was being sarcastic… I’m with her — Nobody (not even JoB) has a valid list of “signs” that a man is dangerous or safe –that is so ridiculous. If he has a penis, he is suspect in my book (that is sarcasm too, just for clarification). But seriously, if he has a penis and I can see it out at Lincoln park — he is suspect.


    I think a lot of people here are hearing but not listening. Mommy gut sent up red flags, Mommy decided to share this information to the community to ensure all are aware so you do not enter a situation that may have the potentially bad outcome. This post was not started so that we can have a debate about prejudices, stereotyping or being over protective.

    Statistics are fine, as was mentioned earlier in this post, your child is more likely to be hit by lightening than get abducted. Tell that to the hundreds of thousands family who have missing kids. Bringing up statistics is all well and good but how many of existing families with kids who are presently abducted are thinking of statistics. Has anyone really spent time looking at all the “Missing Child” posters at the Markets and Post Office and wonder what that family or that missing kid is going through? Is that not proof that this is a real concern for parents?

    So she gave a description, does that make it being prejudicial or stereotypical? No. The person she observed just happens to fit the description she posted. This was just a concerned parent sharing because she felt it is her duty to other parents to report her observations and her feeling.

    Yes back in the day you could let your child play outside without monitoring, did you ever look to see if there were ever children missing back the? Yes there were and still are, we are just making people more aware now. This is not new people. Abduction of kids has existed for a long time. Now its more advertised. 1% of the population of kids abducted is too much let alone whatever the percentage is up to now.

    My son who is serving his country in the Army did not feel smothered when he hung out with his family, when his dad would take him and pick him up to/from school until the day he graduated from high school. He was appreciative and understood his dad was always there protecting him. He new I would to the best of my ability do everything I could to keep him safe. He still enjoyed life as a kid, but I was always there ensuring his safety. Times have changed, no longer can you leave your kid alone to play outside. And frankly that’s too much responsibility to put on a kid to watch out for themselves, They will never have fun. If your gonna be a parent act like one and protect your kids as KatieB is doing for hers, as I do for mine. If you’re not a parent I don’t expect you to understand, but know that your perspective in life with a child in it changes when you hold your child for the first time in your arms after birth.

    Please take the message of the original poster as an awareness and not an attack on a type of person.

    KatieB I thank you. This parent appreciates your message and understands what you were trying to relay.

    I will do the same.



    Captainbroncs thank you! :) your post sums up what I believe most were/are thinking. Well said and kudos to you.



    I saw a person that wasn’t white so I locked my doors. My gut told me it was the right thing to do.



    Sorry but I just have to point out that there are nowhere near hundreds of thousands of missing children. In the 80’s there were 200-300 abductions a year, these days it’s closer to 100.

    That doesn’t diminish the suffering of those people who have missing children. As a parent I can’t even begin to imagine how horrible it must be.

    Again, like I said, vigilance is fine, paranoia is unwarranted. Not an attack on the thread starter, just a reminder to keep things in perspective.




    I recognized OlMom’s sarcasm… but the sarcasm didn’t dismiss the point, which is that by the OPs own admission the man was doing nothing more than sitting in a shelter in a public park that happened to be located near the playground.

    It is the only shelter in that area of the park, so if someone wanted to sit in a shelter to rest, that would be their only choice.

    I will admit that what he said was pretty lame.. but he may have simply been embarrassed at the look the OP is likely to have given him when she rushed over to protect her child and blurted out the first thing that came into his head.


    I am afraid of spiders. When i was younger i literally jumped on chairs to avoid them. It took my 3 year old son to show me that it was just a spider… and that you could let them crawl into your hand without harm.

    I still am not comfortable with spiders crawling on me, but i have learned that most spiders are harmless and i let them go their way as long as they stay out of mine.

    Mommy radar is nothing more than fear for the safety of your child… and like all fears can be greatly exaggerated.

    Because i was sensible enough to learn from the example my child set, my kids are not afraid of spiders.. or snakes.. or of the other things that can keep me sleepless while camping outdoors.

    Transmitting my fear of spiders and snakes to my kids might not have been harmful to their development.. though it certainly would have stopped by daughter from taking advantage of a mine inspection trip in South America where she slept in native huts high in the Andes… but there are many fears we transmit to our children that are dangerous.

    Teaching our kids to be afraid of people sitting by themselves in shelters near a playground is one of those fears that could ultimately be harmful.

    if you shift your perception and think of that person as another set of eyes and ears protecting your child, they would be the person you would want your child to run to.. not from.

    This little old lady rests in shelters when she walks by herself… and those shelters are most often located near playgrounds. I have been the object of suspicion for nothing more than tying the shoe of a child whose parent wasn’t paying attention.

    I heard that child get an earful about the dangers of strangers as she was clutched protectively in her mother’s arms after being rescued from me. I guess i am lucky that the police weren’t called or the incident relayed on the local public forum.

    Yet, had that child been in danger I am their best resource. Having been molested as a child I am more than willing to put myself in danger to protect a child.

    Mommy radar isn’t always accurate…

    That is the point i was trying to make… and one that i hope some young mothers hear.

    I was not molested by a stranger.. i… like the majority of the statistics.. and like the majority of those i talk with.. was molested by someone who lived in my home.. someone i trusted.

    yes, there are still perverts out there.. but they are far more likely to be sitting in your living room sharing your laughter than sitting by themselves in a park shelter.

    You can better protect your children by teaching them to talk to you about anything that makes them uncomfortable and asking them questions instead of dismissing or exaggerating their fears… thus teaching them how to evaluate their fears.

    When you jump to conclusions, you often jump to the wrong one.



    JoB, may I suggest you reread the original post before you continue on. She didnt rush over after she saw the man. She was following her young son over to the drinking fountain which most good parents or child care givers would do.



    From a previous poster:

    “when his dad would take him and pick him up to/from school until the day he graduated from high school.”

    Are you serious? Can you imagine the line of cars at a high school if a whole bunch of parents picked their kid up. How embarrasing to a kid.

    Honestly I find this more creepy that the person described originally (and I have two young daughters)




    that may be…

    but the man still wasn’t doing anything other than using the shelter for one of the purposes for which it was built…



    What I do know is that someone tagged the Lincoln Park tennis court bench, sign, and porta potty with comments about children. This is not far from the area in question in this topic, and the description of the person seen seems to fits the guy I’ve seen lurking around the courts and pea patch.

    Perhaps Tracy you can put a link to the spring time arrest of the guy that was caught tagging?




    i agree that any link to a picture of the guy who is tagging is worthwhile.. and would love to be on the lookout for someone like that as well..

    but… this description…

    “he was an overweight caucasian guy wearing a t-shirt, shorts, sunglasses and scarf on his head…probably under 6′.”

    fits a lot of people… including the man i know who walks in Lincoln park every day to recover his health.


    You know its amazing. One person Chimes in their concern and not in anyway to demean anyone and all of the sudden its being written off as paranoid or prejudice.

    Here is a true Coast Guard story I’d like to share. Two older couple in their 60’s were in their sail boat minding their business off the Florida coast. Coast Guard announces to them they are required to board them as part of there standard Coast Guard safety inspection. Coast Guard personnel get on board and because they felt the older couple were not a threat did not fully follow their own mandate procedures of ensuring there were no weapons on board.

    Old lady was upset that the Coast Guard had the gall to board their private boat pull out a shot gun and threatened the personnel. Situation was eventually diffused but because their guard was let down they almost had a member of their team shot.

    Is it paranoid to be careful? No. Does being careful equate to being fearful? No. I fear a bullet and I fear being stabbed, am I going to get shot or stabbed so I know how it feels and get my fear over that? no. Not every spider that crawls on you are safe either. Its nice to get over your fear of a spider or snake but you still have to be careful as their are some that are venomous and if not disable you can kill you.

    And if my concern over my child’s well being is creepy and an inconvenience then at least I’ll feel at ease knowing he is safe.



    There is no known photo of the suspect in the tagging case. Mug shots are not available from county jail booking; the Dept. of Corrections sometimes will make photos available if people have served state prison time, which I don’t believe was the case for this guy; otherwise the only way to get a photo of someone is to go cover a court hearing, and even then that depends on whether the judge allows you to shoot their face (you’ve likely seen more than a few tv clips of a suspect in orange jail jumpsuit, shown only from the neck down because that’s the judge’s order).




    Not looking for a photo, but a link to the story that was on the blog. The red flag in my opinion about the current tags is that the word kids are a part of all of them. The worst are in the large porta potty at the Lincoln park tennis courts. The one on the bench has been sanded off twice.


    This guy avoids showing his face and I’ve seen him wearing a hood, a mask, and a scarf. I hope the playground guy is harmless like many others


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