A Couple in their 70s Wave at A Kid…And In Swoop the Cops

Hi Readers — Acting like decent, warm-hearted human beings again? Please. Won’t you ever learn? Take a lesson from this story:

A Canadian couple in their 70s were out running errands. Saw a boy on his bike. Waved.

Later, they parked the car to run those errands. Cops arrived — a slew of  them — and hauled them in for questioning.  The charge? Attempted abduction.

Husband and wife were separated, questioned, the husband was searched.  In the end,  “We were satisfied no abduction took place,” said the police.

I think that depends if you mean abduction of a child or abduction of two law-abiding senior citizens crazy enough to wave at a kid. — Lenore

46 Responses

  1. What a disgusting person to call in an attempted abduction on a child from elderly people waving. Why the hell didn’t the cops call THAT person in and question them and then charge them the cost of having to haul people down to the station, take up officers time and space, and gas money for opening their idiot mouth.


  2. Gee, I live in a small town and everyone always waves at every person whom they drive by, it’s standard small town protocol. People there sound really paranoid! No one would do that here.

    Another nice thing here is if I am working and can’t pick up one of my daughters after practice I don’t even have to make arrangements, they just bum a ride with another parent. I do the same thing for other kids. Yeah, the school has their official rules but no one follows them. 😆

  3. Wasn’t it the same cops who say they can’t do anything about threats and missing person reports until something happens?

    I’m in two minds: on the one hand it’s an improvement to see cops act before it’s too late, on the other hand, I’d prefer to see them not arrest a couple for being friendly. How can you possibly charge someone with attempted abduction when the kid in question wasn’t actually touched or in any danger at any point during the “incident”?

  4. it is a scary place you live in. I just went to the supermarket (we live in Italy) with my youngest (9 months), he lives to smile at people (especially women) and he has a megaton-smile when they smile back at him.
    The mall/supermarket thing took about 45 min, and in that time my son “flirted” with at least 15 people, and 5-6 stopped and talked to him, all of them “had” to touch him when they told him how wonderful he was. And that is nice, I like it, It is nice to be complimented for the charm of your child, although it has very little to do with me, and it helps my son to make shopping a somewhat entertaining experience.

  5. My favorite part of this story was when they asked if she would ever wave at any more children so said “oh yeah, I’m no gonna let this stop me”. Ha.

  6. Well scratch everything I’ve ever said about Nova Scotia being more sane about this stuff – this is local!

  7. Wow that’s messed up – even moreso because THAT IS MY HOME COMMUNITY! Wow, the most unlikely place in the world you’d ever expect this to happen! Pictou itself is a lazy little town of only a few thousand people, part of the larger Pictou County which is maybe 40,000 tops in a fairly large geographic area. This is the country we are talking about, not some big city. The nearest city is 150km / 100 miles away, and itself is only a few hundred thousand.

    This is really sad. When I first saw the headline it made me think of just the other day when I was standing in line at the checkout at Canadian Tire – the two people in front of me were a man and his young son – maybe 5 or 6 years old – same age as my 2 boys. The son was dutifully helping his father carry the stuff to the checkout. He had a hand vacuum in his hand – the one called “The Shark”. A silly comment came to my mind – one that I would have said to my boys. The boy looked at me and I pointed at the box and exclaimed “Watch out that shark doesn’t bit you!”. The boy got a good chuckle, while his father gave me a look. Fortunately it did not amount to anything like this.

  8. perhaps they shoul arrest th eperson who phoned it in for wasting police time.

    It’s getting to the stage that people are beginning to dread being within a couple of feet of a child for fear of others thinking they are up to now good.

  9. I am told by my brother that the boy is the one who reported it.

  10. @bushikdoka Can’t wait till this kid grows up and reports EVERY action to the cops. Guess his parents really went of the way to scare him properly!

  11. … and the cops wonder why people have no respect left for them.

  12. Oh my gosh! They waved at the kid! Those perves!

  13. Sometimes I wonder about the RMCP.

    On one hand they were very protective of my grandmother. She had a large piece of property on main street with a baseball field that my grandfather had built on it. In the 70’s she had problems with tourists thinking her yard was a park, camping in it, and getting drunk/high abusive towards her. So the RCMP would tell anyone they didn’t recognize to get off the property day or night. When we were staying with her they came by to check if things were ok, since the lights were on after Nanna’s bedtime.

    On the other hand – they stopped all my Uncle’s boats and other fisherman’s boats one week for safety inspections. They were cited for every single itty bitty violation. Meanwhile the the drunk tourists zooming by rocking the boats with their wake and cutting over my Uncle’s mussel lines were ignored after all they bring in money.

    The judge fined the fishermen $1 each – and lit into the RCMP but good. He basically ordered them to start citing the tourists for drunk driving and boating. (Law there is 1 drink and you are basically over the limit. My cousins all take taxis when they go to clubs).

    I can see the RCMP having to take action given the boy’s report – but as soon as they realized what really happened they should have hauled that brat and family into the station and made them apologize to the couple publicly.

  14. PARENTS ARE CRAZY THESE DAYS. I was left home alone all the time since I was 7 years old. My mom left my dad…dad was always gone. I did all the cleaning, wash, cooking etc. I grew up fast and yet still had time to play. Just think…I had my own house really since I was 7. Eventually we moved outside of town and a little older I would ride my bike to school…5 miles one way down a major carrying my alto sax riding one handed there and back. Then get back from school and jump the train to get back into town and play. Then was sent out to California in the summers…took the plane out…switched flights by myself at 8 years old. Then was basically on my own there while my mom and step-dad were always gone or partying. Rode the bart system …buses, not knowing where I was going but always ended up home. I would get home later but that was good because my parents would be partying. So I’d sit up in my tree and watch drinking drugs and orgys all night till they passed out and put myself to bed. There waaayyy so much more but to this day I’m 37 just built a house got laid-off ( worked since 12 ) now trying to start my own business. I’m married …3 girls and have a great family just little money. I don’t do drugs and raised my self right! I don’t hover over my kids never had baby gates or any child protection devices around the house and they’re just fine.

  15. And to think this happened in a town where people leave their cars running when they go to the store!

    This just makes the RCMP look bad.

  16. I did not expect when I clicked the link to see that this took place in my home province. I find it baffling and embarrassing. I am embarrassed for you, Pictou RCMP.

  17. Dear Kids, If you get lost and need help, try seeking out a friendly elderly couple. The cops around here are way too jumpy and unpredictable. They might arrest you for abducting yourself!

  18. The reporting party should be cited for false reporting. Sorry, but no reasonable person could consider that an abduction attempt. Sounds like a malicious report that wasted the RCMP’s resources.

  19. Wow -Makes me wonder… Slow news day?
    An apology is definitely in order to the couple.
    …“We were satisfied no abduction took place,” said the police.

  20. Couldn’t they have been satisfied that no abduction took place because, well, no abduction took place?

  21. Good point, Beth! lol

    I wave at people, including children, ALL THE TIME. In our area it’s considered polite to wave at people when you drive down the street. I even TALK to children in public places.

  22. Around here, we wave at everyone and say hello to total strangers. It’s the way small town life is supposed to be.

  23. The backlash of all this nonsense is going to be people who are unwilling to help a kid who really is in trouble because they themselves may end up in trouble. Myself, I can’t afford the legal representation it may require to untangle myself from a good deed being punished.

  24. You would think they waved an AXE at the kid….I wonder if they just didn’t buy any tickets to the policemans ball this year?

  25. At first I was as shocked as the rest of you. An elderly man arrested for waving at a child. Then I heard an interview with the wife. It turns out that the child made the claim (not some crazy adult)….what should the police do, ignore the child or investigate? As far as I can tell, the couple were never arrested, taken in for questioning.

    I’m a big fan of freerange kids, but this seems like an appropriate response to me.

  26. Yes and no Patrick. Yes, the police should do that when a child makes a complaint. But why was this child so darned paranoid to report that incident? Clearly his parents have the poor child scared out of hit wits

  27. Good heavens, this happened in Nova Scotia?! My own province… that’s just embarrassing. The police definitely couldn’t ignore a report from the kid. I doubt it would have gone anywhere if a bystander had reported suspicious waving, but if it got out that they’d “failed to investigate” the kid’s complaint, I’m willing to bet they would have been up to their ears in crap from the kid’s parents and everyone else.

    This might have been an overreaction by the police, but not nearly as much as the kid’s parents have obviously been overreacting his entire life for him to be so paranoid as to call the police on elderly wavers. Jeez, we do it all the time in my town!

  28. I’d love to find out what the kid said when he called the police. I’m betting it wasn’t, “Yeah, I was on my bike, and somebody WAVED. At ME!”

  29. Sounds like a case of where Truth is Stranger than Danger.

  30. So if (as poster here who come from that area claim) waving at kids is a general practice, I have to wonder – is the kid from that area, or did the guy actually do something different than a simple wave?

  31. Helen, my partner said the same thing. I mean WE LEAVE OUR KIDS AT THE MOVIE THEATRE here in rural Nova Scotia. Everyone waves at everyone, even if you don’t recognize them.

    I’m not suggesting they did anything wrong but I’m wondering if the kid felt they cut him off and then were calling him over.

  32. Helen,

    You made me think of something. My Mom was from PEI (neighboring Province). On a trip in 1976, my sister and I went across the street to buy some ice cream and comic books. While we were there a man came up, said hello, called sis by her name – me by a short version I don’t use, and tried to hug us. Sis and I dropped everything and ran – full force across the street to our Nanna’s.

    The Man followed and apologized. He was a cousin of my Mother. He saw sis (spitting image of Mom) and heard us talking with Texas Drawls – so he knew who we were.

    Now our parents were not big on stranger danger – but a school mate had been kidnapped for ransom that spring before our trip. So safety rules had been revisited at school before we left for summer vacation.

    I ran into some tourist that were put off by people addressing their kids directly or the general friendliness of the people. I thought it was normal – because people in Texas act the same way. On the other hand I also told off a tourist that was manhandling my “quaint*” cousins thinking they were part of a living history exhibit or something. We were walking down the street in a tourist area. She grabbed them to pose them for a photograph.

    *They were stairstepped in age – towheads (girls pulled back in french braid) and their mother dressed them in matching outfits. The girls wearing the same dresses and the boy in shorts made of the same material.

  33. That’s sheer insanity. Has to be an over “Stranger Danger” trained kid, poor child.

  34. I like a story that was a little bit further down the page

  35. […] A Couple in their 70s Wave at A Kid…And In Swoop the Cops Hi Readers — Acting like decent, warm-hearted human beings again? Please. Won’t you ever learn? Take a […] […]

  36. It seems to me that the real story here is not so much the police response but the child’s. Apparently his parents (or someone) have so inculcated the idea of “stranger danger” into this poor kid that he mistook the friendly couple for potential kidnappers. Once he complained to the police, of course they had to investigate. It seems like they came to the right conclusion. Two hours seems long for this kind of thing, but who knows what the kid told them. I wouldn’t be surprised if he exaggerated a bit in talking to the police.

    It’s the parents who should be ashamed for making their kid so paranoid, and the kid as well if he “embellished” his story a little. He was out by himself on a bike, though, and that’s got to count for something :). I wonder how old he was.

  37. I’m glad that the police didn’t blow the kid off, but from the way the event was described (and I can’t rule out the possibility that there are missing details) the police’s reaction was way over the top. They could have easily gotten the couple’s address from the license plate, run a background check, and paid them a friendly and respectful visit or phone call to their home– “We don’t mean to accuse you of anything, mind you, but we have to take these sort of things seriously, you understand.” Regardless of whether they were formally charged or not, being put into the back of a police cruiser and being waylaid and interrogated for two hours is humiliating and terrifying. Not to mention there will always be some people who think, “Well if the police suspected them, then maybe there’s something to it.”

  38. I agree with Lihtox in the posibility of missing details… I lived in Canada some time and … no offense to my canadian friends but… I never saw anyone waving like that, you would always get a short Hello or Hi or some kind of nod. I doubt someone will call the police just for the sake of calling them and… if you call the RMCP they better investigate!!

    Lesson learned: Don’t wave at bicycle riding kids!!

  39. I’m trying to understand how a gaggle of “enlighten” free range parents are calling a kid they do not know in circumstance they do not KNOW FOR A FACT all the varibles of, a brat! Really I thought this “movement” was about being responsible but makeing choices based on your family’s relationship, your child/ren’s personal ablities and maturity level. I’m very sad to see posts by adults that show that they may not be mature enough to be released.

  40. I’m just wondering here but maybe just maybe the 5 year old missing kid report might have come in during/around the time of the “waving” incident? Maybe just maybe these two things happening around the same time made the call be taken in a diffrent light? It was a couple hours before the group of helpful kids found the lost 5 year old that was “free-ranging” his way around lost and scared.
    I’m still just angry to have come here thinking this was a positive program of growing our children’s responsiblity and see such rude hateful JUDGING comments from people that don’t want to be judged on how they raise their children like Miss not being able to remove her butt from the bed to even sit with their kids while the kids make their own breakfast.
    You want to judge this child’s parents as over paranoid inducing but don’t like being called lazy? That is hypocracy.
    Is this group going to get back to being about raising responsible self sufficiant children or continue to get worse and worse with name calling and judging those that you think would judge you?
    OMG adults in here need to GROW UP!

  41. I’m an officer at a fraternal organization in a small town. Until 9:30 PM properly supervised children have the run of our club. We stock snacks for them and they usually end up with ice cream or popsicles. The problem is that many times children are brought in by their Grandparents, not their parents. As a result it isn’t uncommon for me to be in a store and have a 4 or 5 year old child run up to me and call me by name, while their parents who have never met me wonder who in the hell I am. Most of the time I just introduce myself and tell them where I met their child and that’s the end of it. A few times it has gotten awkward. I have yet to have the Police called on me, if I do I hope the officer is one of our members.

  42. […] Nova Scotia, Canada: “A Couple in their 70s Wave at A Kid…And In Swoop the Cops” [Free-Range Kids] […]

  43. In this case, I don’t think the police acted inappropriately. If it was the child himself who reported an attempted abduction, then the police have to take the report seriously and investigate it. The problem is with the boy, or with the adults who instilled such paranoia in him.

  44. I’m kinda new to the site so posting a late followup….

    My parents tried to drill into me the concept of not talking to strangers, because I was a cheerful extrovert who loved to make friends. With anyone.

    Well, when I was in first grade, there was a dude who walked by our bus stop every day. He was foreign (from Korea I learned later), but he didn’t look too strange to me as my grandmother had a very good friend from Cambodia and my older sister was friends with that woman’s granddaughter. He invited me and the other two girls at the bus stop to his house. I said no, and told my mother about it.

    Turns out the guy was very very nice, but my mother went to the bus stop with me the next day and when he came by she had a talk with him. Explained to him that people were paranoid and inviting young children to their house without permission from their parents is a bad idea.

    Glad the poor dude didn’t get arrested — in this day and age the fact his accent wasn’t pure American would probably have made the police get Homeland Security involved.

  45. To all the armchair quarterbacks criticizing the police once again..
    The police responded to a complaint of a possible abduction. The information received was much more than just a person “waving” at a child. The person who was arrested matched the description perfectly of the alleged suspect, thus was arrested, questioned and later released once it was clear that this complaint was not legitimate. Once again the police cannot win. If they had dismissed this complaint, taken no action and god forbid a child was then abducted and/or assaulted, they would be morons for doing nothing. In this instance, they took action and responded to the complaint professionally and quickly, but due to the fact that the information received was not accurate, the ever present criticizers now can now comment on the “bumbling police” actions. Keep in mind people that there really are bad people in the world, even in sleepy Pictou Nova Scotia..
    I would like all of the naysayers to give their advice as to how they should have responded to this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: