Thursday, August 5, 2010

Supermarket Horror Story #2

This story didn't happen to me. It was told to me by a friend.

A city official who works for child protective services was driving through Williamsburg. He was not supposed to be there at the time, he was off-duty. He came across something odd in front of a kosher supermarket, which he later realized was the unthinkable.

A parking lot of strollers, most with children inside was in front of the store. Where were the parents?
Inside, shopping.

Obviously taken aback by this, and knowing what to do, he quickly rushed into the supermarket and asked the manager to announce on the loudspeaker, in English, that whoever has left a child in front of the store should immediately bring them inside. No response. He asked the manager to announce it again, this time in Yiddish. Still nothing. The store was obviously full of people, and there were several unattended children outside. What was he to do? What any decent city official would do. He whipped out his badge and said that he works for child protective services.

The moment mister store manager saw this he quickly grabbed the microphone and nervously shouted something over the loudspeaker which received a response in the form of a small crowd of mamales and tatales making a mad rush for the door. So basically, these parents needed to be threatened with the very right to keep their children in order to think of their safety be able to take them home.

There are freaks who kidnap children every day in every part of the world. Why would anyone risk the even remote possibility of their child being G-d forbid kidnapped, hurt or killed. G-d entrusted us with our helpless, defenseless children who completely rely on us for their safety and well being. Having a child (or nine) is a privilege and a responsibility, not something to be taken lightly. Couples all over the world pray every day for the chance to have what these men and women take for granted. There are neighborhoods in Brooklyn filled with these kinds of parents, and that is very scary indeed.


  1. Interesting blog.

    On Friday around noon, I left work for an unexpected errand and as I was getting off the highway, I saw 2 girls around 15 with a gaggle of backyard campers on bicycles. The little girls were actually wearing helmets (incredible), but 2 girls with 6 little ones on bicycles right on the service road? They'd obviously crossed 2 exit ramps. Not a smart place for a backyard camp field trip.

    People tend to choose the cheapest summer entertainment for their kids, NOT the most supervised.

  2. People do things like this because everyone around them does it too. Their culture tells them that it’s ok, and they’ve always done it and nothing bad ever happened to them, so why not?

    I agree that it’s an unnecessary risk, but I wonder what the real numbers are. How many kids left unattended are actually kidnapped in the US every year? There are about 45,000 deaths in car accidents in the US every year, yet we continue to drive cars because the benefits outweigh the risks (and because everyone assumes that something terrible won’t happen to them).

    About 69,000 kids are kidnapped every year in the US. Most of those are abducted by family members, usually the non-custodial parent. Of non-family member abductions, about three quarters of those kidnapped are girls – and so those doing the kidnapping probably wouldn’t be interested in babies in strollers.

    Again, I agree that leaving the kids outside the store is an unnecessary risk, and I would never do it myself, but I wonder if we shouldn’t be more worried about being struck by lightning (1/750,000).