When it comes to protecting their kids, parents will do anything.
“I usually don’t even push her in her stroller, she’s usually strapped to me at all times,” said Randi Cromer, with a smile on her face. Cromer is a first time mom, telling News5 her daughter is about 18 months.
As for when she’ll talk to her daughter about “stranger danger”…
“As soon as possible… you have to be really cautious of those things,” Cromer said.
That’s a conversation hundreds of concerned parents had on social media over the weekend, after a Colorado Springs mother wrote in a now deleted Facebook post-warning parents about a man who she says tried to aggressively abduct her son at a Starbucks.
The incident allegedly took place at the Starbucks near the intersection of Garden of the Gods and Centennial, on Saturday.
The man was later identified as 38-year-old Carl Black.
Police responded to the scene and determined the contact with the boy was “odd and inappropriate,” but said he had not committed a crime. Black was interviewed and released.
A few hours later, officers were once again called to the shop as customers claimed Black was being aggressive and encouraging his pit bull to be aggressive. Black was eventually arrested on charges of trespassing and obstruction.
He has been released from jail.
News5 spoke to the mother, via Facebook messenger on Monday.
She declined to talk on camera, saying she was concerned for the safety of her children now that Black had been released.
But initially, she says the facebook post was made to warn other parents about the dangers that can lurk in seemingly safe places.
According to police, Black refused to come out and refused to even acknowledge the officers were trying to speak with him. So, the officers called a tow truck to have the vehicle towed. That’s when Black came out. As he was being cuffed his dog was taken to the Pikes Peak Humane Society for the time being.
News5 spoke with one Colorado Springs mother who was surprised something like that allegedly took place in that particular area of town.
Ellen Beckham is the mother of a 1, 5, and 7-year-old.
Despite hearing about the incident, Beckham says it won’t change the philosphy she’s chosen to share with her kids that not all strangers are bad.
“If we see a dangerous situation, we tell them to look out for the helpers–meaning can you find the policeman? Can you find the firefighters? Can you find the people who are there to help in any situation. I like to think that’s what they’re looking out for, instead of who could harm me or who should I stay away from?” Beckham explained.
News5 reached out to a Colorado Springs-based group called Kidpower, which specialized in youth safety programs, and asked how parents can teach their kids to be safe around strangers.
They don’t recommend sharing specific incidents of kidnapping, or attempted kidnappings, with children.
They do recommend making a safety plan with your child, if you haven’t already.
For a list of tips, and how to get started, click here.