| Crime |

Child Predator Alert was Paranoia; Police Called After Man Asks Kids Where to Find Tree Swing

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.


Kids aren't supposed to talk to strangers. And, these days, apparently, strangers aren't supposed to talk to kids.

According to media reports today, a guy who asked a few kids some questions about tree swings -- prompting police involvement -- was actually interested in tree swings. Go figure.

Initial coverage of the "child predator" painted a scary portrait of a perv on a bike who was attracting tykes like the Pied Piper until scared off -- and, in one case, followed -- by nervous moms. Creepily, the "predator" used the notion of building a swing to entice the tots.

Then a woman returned home from an outing and realized the cops had been warning the neighborhood about her husband, who had expressed interest in building a tree swing.

Though this story says something about the paranoia of our modern era, the children were very young -- some concern would be warranted if you saw an adult leading 4- and 5-year-olds away from their home. On the other hand, the reports make it appear that the parents in each case didn't have a close eye on their kids, at least at first.

Pulling up a chair in the front yard to watch the kids play and meet the neighbors, some of whom may want to actually do good, seems like the way to prevent this kind of thing.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.