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Kid in a bag

Ernest Friedman-Hill
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  34

So I'm picking up my daughter from school today. It's raining pretty hard. A I approach the school on foot I see a man walking away. He is carrying a small child, kindergarten age I guess. The kid is entirely inside a plastic bag. It's a clear, see-through bag, maybe a dry-cleaning bag for a coat or something. The kid's head is in the bottom of the bag, and the top of the bag is hanging past the kid's feet. The kid is drowsing on the guy's shoulder (either falling asleep or, I don't know, maybe SUFFOCATING!)

So I (and a few of the Moms in the area) call out to him, "Hey, buddy!" But he just keeps walking. I run up to him and tap him on the shoulder: "Excuse me -- you can't do that! You can't put a kid in a plastic bag!" He limply pulls at the bag to show that it contains some air as well as a kid, then starts to walk away.

So my question is -- what do you do? I'll tell you what I did: I reached out with two hands, grabbed the bag in front of the kid's face (it's over the guy's shoulder, remember) and ripped an enormous hole in the bag -- then walked away.


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Gregg Bolinger
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    6

I would have got arrested for what I would have done and the douche carrying the kid would probably be able to sue me. But he'd have a size 13 shoe in his ass for sure.


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fred rosenberger
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  16

I'd have also called the cops. idiots like that shouldn't have kids....


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Ernest Friedman-Hill
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  34

Originally posted by fred rosenberger:
idiots like that shouldn't have kids....


I just grumbled that rather loudly as I walked away.

There's another guy near us who I see driving around with a couple of kids in the bed of his pickup truck. I've considered calling the cops on him; but decided against it. Would you?
David O'Meara
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Yep, but I'm a Militant Anti-authoritarian. People are complicated.
John Smith
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Originally posted by David O'Meara:
Yep, but I'm a Militant Anti-authoritarian. People are complicated.


Indeed. There were times when cops were called on homosexuals, democrats, blacks, poets, artists, atheists, and pacifists. They are all deviant, after all. However, the kid in a bag does cross the "do not tell" boundary, so I would probably do what EFH has done.
David O'Meara
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I'm still not sure about poets.
In the same position, I wonder if I would try to grab or open the bag.
Darya Akbari
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Posts: 1855
Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
I just grumbled that rather loudly as I walked away.

There's another guy near us who I see driving around with a couple of kids in the bed of his pickup truck. I've considered calling the cops on him; but decided against it. Would you?


I would call the cops w/o doubt and I recommend you to call them. There is a difference between denunciation and this. Here you care for a defenseless child. You would not live in peace for the rest of your life when something happens to those kids and you hadn't at least given the cops a tip.

By the way I highly respect your deed. I even had followed him (while at the same time calling the cops with my mobile) until the cops had taken over this idiot.
[ September 13, 2008: Message edited by: Darya Akbari ]

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Vikas Kapoor
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EFH,

Are you sure they both were not playing?
Satish Chilukuri
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Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:

There's another guy near us who I see driving around with a couple of kids in the bed of his pickup truck. I've considered calling the cops on him; but decided against it. Would you?


Depends on the situation. If I were a kid I would have loved riding in the back of the truck (I don't exactly remember, but I think I did that when I was a kid. Things like that are common in India). I don't have kids, so I'm not sure what I'd do if my kids were to ask for a ride.
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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  34

Originally posted by Satish Chilukuri:
I think I did that when I was a kid. Things like that are common in India).


It's against the law in most (if not all) of the United States; we have laws that say you have to wear seat belts, and special laws for children about using child safety seats.
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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  34

Originally posted by Vishal Pandya:

Are you sure they both were not playing?


I don't even know how to answer this.
Arvind Mahendra
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Ernest I think that may have been a bit irresponsible. I would've called the cops as others suggested or tried to reason with him as an adult but trying to be a hero and confronting him by doing what you did you probably just opened an account for this lunatic's wrath by doing that?


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Doug Slattery
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Ernest I think that may have been a bit irresponsible. I would've called the cops as others suggested or tried to reason with him as an adult but trying to be a hero and confronting him by doing what you did you probably just opened an account for this lunatic's wrath by doing that?


What!? No way dude. Now what Gregg would've done might fit into irresponsible. But, to be confronted with a situation like this and talking about it or wimping out by calling the cops and thinking you've done your duty as a citizen is spine-less. If EFH hadn't done it, then one of the other moms nearby probably would've done something similar.

Way to go EFH. Hopefully mr. plastic bag has learned a lesson too.

- Doug
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Ernest Friedman-Hill
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  34

Originally posted by Arvind Birla:
Ernest I think that may have been a bit irresponsible. I would've called the cops as others suggested or tried to reason with him as an adult but trying to be a hero and confronting him by doing what you did you probably just opened an account for this lunatic's wrath by doing that?


I read recently about a case where a woman collapsed and eventually died in a New York City emergency room waiting area, while other folks just sat by, as captured by the security camera. The dead woman lay on the floor for an hour before a staffer noticed her, while patients nearby continued reading magazines. They were probably all thinking the same thing.
Arvind Mahendra
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Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:


I read recently about a case where a woman collapsed and eventually died in a New York City emergency room waiting area, while other folks just sat by, as captured by the security camera. The dead woman lay on the floor for an hour before a staffer noticed her, while patients nearby continued reading magazines. They were probably all thinking the same thing.


No I'm afraid this is different. In the case above everyone thought it was someone else's responsibility or simply fell prey to group thinking. Its unfortunate as in this case helping this woman in question would not have been tantamount to putting their own life in jeopardy in any way. In your case, the guy was clearly functioning outside the barriers of normal expected behavior and thus there was a element of risk involved in dealing with such a lunatic. I say its irresponsible because you have a child of your own and your first priority should be the obligation of safe guarding your family above all else. If you didn't want to call the police, you could've enlisted the help of adults around you to collectively go upto this person. But trying to be a hero without a care about how you could be putting your own life in jeopardy seems irresponsible. Again even if you were the only one willing to take action, adopting an in your face attitude is also not very smart.
Doug Slattery
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Considering the police and the other adults nearby to enlist have children too, your point doesn't have any merit.

Point: My family is safe, somebody else's isn't. I will help them. Since he's carrying a child, risk is low. Take action. By the time the police would respond, who knows what might transpire with the child.

I also hope my neighbors think the same way.

- Doug
-- Nothing is impossible if I'mPossible
Bear Bibeault
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  67

I also applaud EFH's action. Too many people are afraid to get involved, or just think that it's someone else's problem.

Personally, I'm not sure how I would have acted in the same situation. But I would hope that I would act accordingly.


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Darya Akbari
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I think EFH did first check how big the risk was for him to do what he did. In general you should not play the hero, you never know what the opposite has in his mind or in his pocket.

That doesn't mean that one can't do anything. Not at all, here is the rule of engagement:

  • Call the police
  • Follow the person
  • Guide the police to the person
  • Stay behind the police and let them do their job
  • Once the guy has been arrested make your statement and go


  • [ September 13, 2008: Message edited by: Darya Akbari ]
    Darya Akbari
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    Originally posted by Doug Slattery:
    Since he's carrying a child, risk is low. Take action. By the time the police would respond, who knows what might transpire with the child.


    You should take very much care for any action you take. You don't know how your opposite will react even with his own child nearby. Have you forgotten that Hammer guy in Philadelphia, giving his child a kiss and a seat in a bus and then attacking that young student with a hammer.

    I can only warn people to play the hero if they are not educated in self defense. Otherwise you yourself become one more victim.
    Doug Slattery
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    I can only warn people to play the hero if they are not educated in self defense.


    I think you mean Not to play... And I don't get where you're coming from with the playing hero bit. It's about doing the right thing. And you're assuming we are not trained in self defense too.

    you never know what the opposite has in his mind or in his pocket.

    And could do to the child with it.?.?

    Have you forgotten that Hammer guy in Philadelphia, giving his child a kiss and a seat in a bus and then attacking that young student with a hammer.

    Have you forgotten BTK? As a kid, I used to live a few miles from where he lived and did his dirty deeds, and have a good friend that lives a few blocks from there. Look what he did for years with nobody doing anything.

    - Doug
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    Ulf Dittmer
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      64
    I can only warn people to play the hero if they are not educated in self defense. Otherwise you yourself become one more victim.

    "Playing hero" is a mighty big word for doing the right thing. And that the person doing it would become a victim is a mighty big assumption, not really borne out by the description of the circumstances Ernest gave.


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    Darya Akbari
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    All I try to say is: Call the police first and help them to do their job.

    Originally posted by Doug Slattery:
    And you're assuming we are not trained in self defense too.


    Exactly.

    Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer:
    "Playing hero" is a mighty big word for doing the right thing. And that the person doing it would become a victim is a mighty big assumption, not really borne out by the description of the circumstances Ernest gave.


    Ulf, what do you mean with mighty big? It's always a 50/50 probability. Only EFH knows how critical the situation really was and whether it was worth to take the risk or not for himself.

    Ernest, you did what you did and that's fine. I had done the same, no doubt about that. There are situations where a child becomes a victim of racism where I also would go in between. But you must call the police in parallel and not just leave away the scene thenafter. How do you know that this guy you confronted will not harm the child an hour later. So did you call the police?
    Maneesh Godbole
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        8

    Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
    S...a man walking away. ..carrying a small child,...kid is entirely inside a plastic bag. ..kid's head is in the bottom of the bag, and the top of the bag is hanging past the kid's feet. ..kid is drowsing on the guy's shoulder

    ..what do you do?


    How do you know it was not a kidnap attempt?

    Click the guy and kid and bag using your cell phone and inform the cops.


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    Ernest Friedman-Hill
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      34

    You folks crack me up.
    David O'Meara
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    It was a plot designed to destabilise the government.
    Arvind Mahendra
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    well look on the bright side a kid in the bag is always better than a bird in the bush which is worth one half in your hands which is worth alot more than a cat in a hat which is not worth more than jesus christ on a stick which may be offensive to some.
    Frank Silbermann
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    Originally posted by Darya Akbari:


    You should take very much care for any action you take. You don't know how your opposite will react even with his own child nearby. Have you forgotten that Hammer guy in Philadelphia, giving his child a kiss and a seat in a bus and then attacking that young student with a hammer.

    I can only warn people to play the hero if they are not educated in self defense. Otherwise you yourself become one more victim.
    Stopping the hammer guy would likely have required the use of force. Anyone trying to stop him would have had to take the law into his own hands, making himself judge, jury and (at the very least) corporal-punisher. (We don't even let the _government_ deliver corporal punishment these days!)

    Most authorities consistently tell us that when threatened by violent criminals we should not resist; we should submit and let the criminal have whatever he wants -- we can always snitch to the government on him later. (If we're not to defend our own lives and property how much more appropriate is this advice when someone else is the victim!)

    Of course, there are some Americans who hold more old-fashioned views -- a relic of an era before every jurisdiction had its own law-enforcement agency, a time before people could depend upon the government to keep the streets and their homes free of criminals. In the rest of the western world this sort of resistance has been rejected as unbefitting a civilized society and has long been stamped out.
    [ September 14, 2008: Message edited by: Frank Silbermann ]
    Ashok Mash
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    I would have lend him an umbrella, if I had one that is. May be he was just trying to keep his child dry, high fever or something, may be he couldn't afford one? ..who knows?


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    Arvind Mahendra
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    Originally posted by Ashok Mash:
    I would have lend him an umbrella, if I had one that is. May be he was just trying to keep his child dry, high fever or something, may be he couldn't afford one? ..who knows?


    Very true, maybe EFH misinterpreted the whole situation and you may just have been right. I learned all about how different people have different perception given the same situation and same people can have same perceptions given different situations as well as different people having different perceptions in differing circumstances in my Organization Behavior class which was only about 2 hours long. You'd be surprised about all the internal and external factors that affect our perception, I could even give you a long list if you want to study this even deeper just pm me.
    Mike Simmons
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      10
    I don't think the issue is what the father's intent is. Yes, the father's probably trying to keep the kid dry from the rain. That doesn't change the fact that putting the kid in a closed plastic bag is very dangerous, much moreso than is getting wet. Having him in a bag with a big airhole isn't entirely safe either (small children may become entangled in the bag even though there's an opening), but it's much better.
    Ernest Friedman-Hill
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      34

    Did some of you folks actually not understand that in the first place? Of course he was trying to keep the kid dry -- he was just an idiot. Did someone here think "oh, he's a murderer disposing of a body in a clear plastic bag" or something?
    Darya Akbari
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    Who said something like that ?
    Mike Simmons
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      10
    Ashok and Arvind seemed to think that maybe EFH did not think that the man was trying to keep his kid dry. So now EFH is wondering what they thought he meant, since it seems obvious the guy was trying to keep the kid dry. The murderer comment was just a guess as to what Ashok and Arvind might have thought EFH thought, since they apparently didn't think EFH thought what EFH said he thought. I think.
    Ulf Dittmer
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      64
    Originally posted by Mike Simmons:
    I think.

    Cut it out already. We have enough troublemakers as it is.
    Darya Akbari
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    Mike Simmons
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      10
    David O'Meara
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    This thread keeps reminding me of The Smiths. It's serious.
    Vikas Kapoor
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    Originally posted by David O'Meara:
    ... It's serious.
    After all this is Meaningless Drivel.
    Ashok Mash
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    Originally posted by Mike Simmons:
    Ashok and Arvind seemed to think that maybe EFH did not think that the man was trying to keep his kid dry. So now EFH is wondering what they thought he meant, since it seems obvious the guy was trying to keep the kid dry. The murderer comment was just a guess as to what Ashok and Arvind might have thought EFH thought, since they apparently didn't think EFH thought what EFH said he thought. I think.




    I wasn't suggesting EFH didn't think the man was trying to keep his child dry. I think that's clear as day to anyone. To be honest, carrying a child like that is pretty stupid, and probably more dangerous that getting he/she wet. Tearing a hole in the bag might have saved the child's life at that moment, but may be the bag did have enough air coming in and out (as the man tried to explain himself). However, in a situation like that, I think I would be sympathize to the condition of the child and that of the man - let him be an idiot, or someone who is just very unfortunate. Who are we to judge? I think lending him an umbrella, or a raincoat, or a ride to where ever he is going probably would have been slightly more helpful than just tearing a hole in the bag - is all what I am saying..! And I am sure there are other factors that should be taken into consideration too, which I can't tell frm EFH's brief description of the situation. Again, I am still not saying what EFH did is wrong, or any less right that what I am saying I would have dne, but EFH asked what I would have done, and I said what I think I might do in a situation like that, that's all!
     
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