Parents Cautioned to Watch Their Kids in Campbell Park

A Campbell woman reported to police a man trying to lure children on Thursday


Parents are being cautioned keep an eye on their young children in the vicinity of Campbell Park at Gilman and East Campbell Avenue after reports of a man trying to lure them away.

A Campbell woman who was participating in a Baby Boot Camp exercise program near the basketball courts told Patch Thursday that a man called to her 15-month-old son who had wandered away. The woman retrieved her son before he made contact with the stranger, whom she thought may have been a transient.

She said the man, who was sitting on the steps near the basketball court, appeared to be hiding behind nearby bushes and calling out to various children.

The woman said the incident occurred about 11 a.m. and that she immediately visited the nearby Cambpell Police Department to file a report.

Campbell Police Capt. Dave Carmichael said officers searched the park but didn't find anyone matching the woman's description.  Nonetheless, Carmichael said officers will continue stepped-up patrols in the area and will be there tomorrow morning.

"We don’t know if he’s new out there or a regular," Carmichael said, adding that officiers are familiar with the local transient population.

Meanwhile, Carmichael said this incident is a good reminder for parents to always keep a watchful eye on their kids.

"The important thing is to have good control of your kids, and give them adequate supervision when you’re out in the public," Carmichael said. 

-- Patch Staff

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Bethany Curran October 04, 2012 at 11:33 PM
The "woman" who this happened to was me. It was so frightening I can not even tell you. I was in shock immediately after and have spent the rest of the day hugging my kids much tighter because of it.
Danny October 04, 2012 at 11:40 PM
This sounds like a side effect of being "familiar with the local transient population" and not addressing it. Maybe if you deal with the shady characters living at the creek by the playground, they will stop showing up at the playground!
Kim Carney October 05, 2012 at 12:36 AM
YIKES! I wish they had told us the description.
Mayra Flores de Marcotte October 05, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Bethany, would you mind sharing with us a general description of this guy? Thanks!
Bethany Curran October 05, 2012 at 02:30 AM
It happened very quickly, but here's my description: He appeared to be homeless, but I'm not sure. I would say he was Hispanic, dark hair and eyes, scruffy facial hair, dirty clothes (grey pants and shirt), and had a couple of small brown paper bags next to him on the step.
RSmall October 05, 2012 at 03:55 AM
This is truly scary. I have seen guys selling drugs at the park and called the police while we were there. We really need to step up pressure on the Mayor and CIty manager to address police funding and safety.
Bethany Curran October 05, 2012 at 06:01 AM
I also want everyone to know that the Baby Boot Camp instructor has reached out to me to see how I'm doing and to let me know that there will be changes in place (maybe a location change or others) to ensure the safety of all participants and their children. She was amazing and quick on her feet when I was frozen and stunned, and for that I am very grateful.
Alan Zisser October 06, 2012 at 12:40 AM
I often go to the park to walk the trail then sit on the bench near the playground to enjoy the sun and people watch. This is usually late in day when more people are there. I consider the park to be a safe place despite some transient regulars. I would be concerned if there were drug dealings going on but have not seen. Admittedly I have never seen police patrols at park. Regarding watching your kids, I am occasionally bothered by lack of watchfulness of some parents. Letting them out of their sight or being distracted, usually by the ubiquitous cellphone, whether at the park or on the street or at the mall. When my sons were small, I never kept them out of my sight (and close at hand) when we were anywhere out in public. Young children , especially toddlers, have no concept of danger and no capability of controlling themselves in these situations. Always be on the alert.
Alan Zisser October 06, 2012 at 12:47 AM
By the way, my comments above are not intended to be an indictment of what happened to Bethany. Can happen to anyone and so happy her child is safe. Just my thoughts on a subject close to my heart. Also, when your kids are grown like mine, you still never stop worrying. And you don't get to hug them much.
Bethany Curran October 06, 2012 at 03:07 AM
I can assure you that I WAS watching my children closely. So were the other Moms with me. We were not distracted by cell phones or anything else, we were all watching our kids and keeping them close. That is the reason my son is home safe where he belongs.
August Patterson October 06, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Since I had a chance to talk to him for a minute while I told him to get lost his face is pretty clear in my head. I'd say he was caucasian, scruffy facial hair for sure, dirty blonde/brownish hair that was cut short- almost buzz cut. Probably about 5'8 and slender. Definitely looked like he had spent a lot of time outside, more than likely homeless. He seemed to be under the influence of something.
Bethany Curran October 06, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Thank you for adding your description, August. Like I said, I saw him so quickly and then grabbed my son and ran!
Lucy J. October 07, 2012 at 07:13 AM
Thank you to Campbell Patch for keeping us informed! This is such important information for local parents and even teachers and child care workers too. Surprised it hasn't been covered on any of the tv news shows. Glad I read this, I'll be sharing for sure.


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