Parenthood
Two girls ask church members for help because man with them not their dad
A group of churchgoers were standing outside when they saw a girl mouth “Please help me, this is not my dad,” immediately raising concern.
Marilyn Caylor
07.25.22

No one wants to make headline news as an AMBER alert. But that’s what almost happened to a couple of 12-year-olds when a stranger beat them in the head and tried to follow them home.

Thankfully members of a nearby church stepped in to save the day when they realized, in the great Maury Povich tradition, that “he was not the father!”

YouTube - WFLA News Channel 8
Source:
YouTube - WFLA News Channel 8

The suspect, 37-year-old David Daniels, first approached the underage girls after they left Cherry’s Bar and Grill in Fishhawk, a suburb in Florida.

When he noticed the two young ladies were by themselves, he told them he’d “supervise” their walk home (they were riding their bikes).

YouTube - WFLA News Channel 8
Source:
YouTube - WFLA News Channel 8

The frightened preteens were unable to shake off the creep, so they flagged down some people at a nearby church. The unnamed mother who came to their rescue told Fox 13 News that she “saw two children on their bicycles and a male adult behind them.”

“One of the little girls was mouthing to me, ‘Please help me, this is not my dad.'”

YouTube - WFLA News Channel 8
Source:
YouTube - WFLA News Channel 8

Daniels tried to convince the woman he was really their dad but she knew he was just spinning a tall tale.

“He was kind of talking over her, right behind her, putting his arm around her neck and saying something in her ear, saying, ‘We just moved here, we just want to see how we can help do whatever you’re doing.'”

She engaged him in conversation and played along until she could get a chance to call 911.

Pexels/picjumbo
Source:
Pexels/picjumbo

The mom who thwarted the would-be abductor chose not to be identified because she doesn’t “want any recognition for this.”

“I don’t want to be a hero. I just did what I hope anybody would do for my own kids.”

While these two elementary-aged girls did an awesome job in trusting their gut in a dire situation, teaching kids how to make good decisions in stranger danger situations can sometimes be hit or miss.

Flickr/Office of Public Affairs
Source:
Flickr/Office of Public Affairs

Australian TV show “Parental Guidance” recently aired an eye-opening episode that highlights how kids actually behave around strangers when their parents aren’t around.

Although the adults are in on the mock scenario, the children don’t know they are being tested and their reactions are 100% real.

The question is, will they remember everything they were taught, or will they throw caution to the wind at the first sign of a cute dog?

YouTube - Channel 9
Source:
YouTube - Channel 9

In the challenge, a babysitter pretends to be distracted by her cell phone while a man with a friendly pooch tries to lure the kids away from the playground with the promise of puppies.

One couple with four young boys falsely believed there was safety in numbers. They were stunned to find out that all four of their kids happily trotted off with their new best friend.

YouTube - Channel 9
Source:
YouTube - Channel 9

Parents can only hope that instinct and critical thinking will kick in at the right time.

In the case of the two brave Florida girls, they reached out for help when they thought they were being kidnapped and everything turned out all right.

As for the helpful mom who came to their aid, she wants parents to stay vigilant and keep their eyes and ears open, especially around children who are not their own.

“There are moms out there who are like me. They are going to recognize the signs, and they are going to know what to do.”

Flickr/pixydust8605
Source:
Flickr/pixydust8605

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By Marilyn Caylor
hi@sbly.com
Marilyn Caylor is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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