Monday, November 05, 2007

Where's the ACLU When You Need Them?

What with it being a beautiful day (see earlier post) I decided to walk to the school and pick the kids up, rather than driving them home. Little did I know I might have a need to call a lawyer to keep them from being railroaded into false charges.

Things were going well enough. We were walking home, chatting about the day, with intermittent periods of them racing ahead and stopping, acting like traffic signals for each other, shouting "Go....Stop!....Go.....Stop!"

On the last leg of our journey home, we crossed the street and a man began to approach us.

"Can I talk to you a minute?" he asked.

"Um...sure. What do you need?" I asked in a hesitant voice, wary of a strange man approaching me and my two children, scoping out whether there were any other people around to shout to for help....yeah...I'm a little paranoid.

After stammering around for a minute, he accused my two children of walking by the wall--that follows the sidewalk and also backs up to several houses on the adjoining street--and teasing his two dogs, trying to make them bark.

"They do this every day, " he blustered.

"Well, that would be hard for them to do considering that they are driven to school each morning and this is only the second day we have walked home." I said, trying to keep my composure.

He proceeded to ignore what I was saying and tried to get my kids to "admit" that they had teased his dogs for weeks now.

"It's OK to tell the truth, boys. Being honest is always good," he said with a knowing look.

Of course, the kids didn't say anything but gave him a confused look as they tried to figure out what in the world this strange man was saying.

"Sir, I appreciate the frustration you feel, but my kids haven't done anything to your dogs. They are driven almost every day. When they aren't driven, they ride bikes or walk with me--not alone. And...I certainly wouldn't let my children tease anyone's dogs!"

The man continued to try and coerce a confession from them and I finally told them that we needed to go and walked away.

I left the man there...shaking his head...convinced that I was a mother who was aiding and abetting known dog-harassers.

So much for "Innocent, until proven guilty."


Your hubby said...

While I would be lying to say that there haven't been instances where the kids have walked past a house and been intrigued by a barking dog or one sticking its nose through the fence, and while I can even see how said intrigue could be misinterpreted as an attempt to tease the dog, neither of them has engaged in such behavior in... well, it's been so long that I can't even remember.

terri said...'s not just that.

Basically the guy was implying that I was lying! He was so convinced of their guilt, that he refused to listen to anything I said.

Very wierd.

Carl said...

That was strange. Be careful.

terri said...

Thanks for stopping by carl.

No worries, my general suspicion of people usually serves me well!! :-)