Skip to comments.Man did not rescue child for fear of 'pervert' slur
Posted on 03/21/2006 6:38:34 PM PST by iPod Shuffle
Man did not rescue child for fear of 'pervert' slur
A BRICKLAYER who passed a toddler walking alone in a village shortly before her fatal fall into a pond said yesterday he did not stop to help in case people thought he was trying to abduct her.
Clive Peachey, from Cornwall, told an inquest jury in Stratford-upon-Avon that he had passed two-year-old girl, Abby Rae, in his van shortly after 10am on 28 November, 2002.
This was just moments after the toddler disappeared from the Ready Teddy Go nursery in the Warwickshire village of Lower Brailes, according to staff.
Abby was found an hour later in an algae-covered garden pond and rescued by her mother, Victoria Rae.
She was taken to Birmingham Children's Hospital by air ambulance but was pronounced dead.
Mr Peachey, of Liskeard, told the inquest he had passed the little girl as she tottered towards the road in High Street.
He said: "I kept thinking I should go back. The reason I didn't go back was because I thought people might think I was trying to abduct her.
"I was convinced her parents were driving around and had found her."
Mrs Rae, 36, wept as Mr Peachey gave his evidence to the packed hearing.
She had earlier read emotionally from a statement as she relived the moment she dragged her daughter from the pond.
Two nursery employees had gone into the garden during their search but told the inquest they did not see the pond because it was covered in green vegetation.
The inquest was adjourned until today.
I'm a mother, too, and I fully understand.
Then there are the times when you try to help a kid who appears lost, only to be snapped-at by the mama. Example: Last summer, I kept chasing a 4yo boy out of a parking lot back into the park to play. Finally, I walked him over to his mom. Some guy who saw what I was doing said, "You're wasting your time." Sure enough, it turns out mama was TELLING him to go play in the parking lot :-0 and couldn't understand my reaction. I walked away, and the guy said, "See, I told you."
I asked them, "What was I supposed to do? Just let the kid wander around lost and not say anything?
Luckily for me the kid was old enough to tell them that "the man found me when I was lost". When the mother was located and brought in to retrieve her child (and it really wasn't her fault - she looked away for 5 seconds and the kid was gone), she grabbed the kid and glared at me like I had tried to snatch her kid. I told her next time I'd just let the kid wander away. She finally thawed a bit, but never did thank me.
I didn't save the kid for in order to be thanked, but it certainly would have been a nice gesture.
Too many people are raising their kids to be terrified of strangers, when statistics show that the vast majority of kidnappers and child molesters are NOT strangers - but people the parents know and trust.
That theory posits that in the type of interaction you describe, there is a victim (the child in the case you cite), the persecutor (mother), and a (would-be) rescuer (you). As soon as the rescuer tries to step in to stop a terrible situation, the victim and the persecutor turn on the rescuer and make them a victim.
Watch domestic disputes on "Cops" and you'll see exactly what I mean. I've heard that more cops are hurt in domestic disputes than in any other situation they encounter.
Makes sense to me. That's why a lot of people avoid "helping" in domestic disputes, and I can't say I blame them.
I did make a decision that day never to step in again. It just seemed so pointless. I'm chasing the child out of the parking lot, and then his mother is chasing him back into it.
Maybe she was feeling guilty about losing her child, and you just became the convenient scapegoat. Even though a child can wander off easily - you just have to turn your head for a few seconds, like you said - that doesn't mean a parent won't feel guilty about it. Maybe it was easier for her to suspect you rather than blame herself for her child wandering off.