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Old 06-10-2019, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Sugarland
13,752 posts, read 12,709,087 times
Reputation: 16605

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Let me start off by saying that I am not a parent and I've had no close associations with any children since I've become an adult, so I've never had to be the adult who's responsible for a child or make decisions for them.

So I was approached a little after 7am this morning by a teenage girl in a small, strip mall parking lot. I would guess around 16 years old, but maybe 14 at the youngest. She said that her school bus never arrived and she didn't live in the area, so she couldn't walk home like the rest of her classmates who were waiting for the bus did. I said, "Ok, well how did you get here?" She got dropped off, she said. "Ok, well call your parents," I said. She doesn't know their phone number, she said. She never actually directly asked me for anything and I couldn't figure out how I could help. Of course, now that I'm thinking about it after the fact, I could've called her school (she mentioned the name of a school I was not familar with, but I could've Googled it) to send out a bus for her or called a Lyft for her depending on how far away the school was (or would that have been bad to put her in a car with a "scary" Lyft driver?). I maybe could've called the police non-emergency number to report a stranded teen? I certainly wasn't going to drive her anywhere myself, so that was never a thought in my mind. To be honest, I was a little suspicious of her. Where I live, teenagers commit violent crimes so they aren't always harmless. I couldn't figure out whether she was trying to ask for money or what, but there was no public transportation around so I don't think money would've helped anyway. The parking lot was right next to a Starbucks, a grocery store, and some other businesses so I don't know if she had already gone in and tried to ask any of the employees for help (wouldn't that have been better than asking random strangers in the parking lot? I don't know if I should've suggested that she go in and ask someone for help?) After she spoke to me, I saw her talking to a man in the parking lot and he looked like maybe he was trying to assist her (he didn't look like a killer or kidnapper or anything...hopefully he wasn't).

Anyway, I just felt bad that I didn't do anything for her. I don't think it's normal for a teenager to not know how to contact their parents/guardians in an emergency. But certainly as parents, I assume that you all probably would've known how to handle the situation right away.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:34 AM
 
601 posts, read 200,314 times
Reputation: 1823
That is weird. A 16yo should definitely know how to contact a parent or other trusted adult.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:49 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
13,819 posts, read 18,771,405 times
Reputation: 24481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet Like Sugar View Post
Let me start off by saying that I am not a parent and I've had no close associations with any children since I've become an adult, so I've never had to be the adult who's responsible for a child or make decisions for them.

So I was approached a little after 7am this morning by a teenage girl in a small, strip mall parking lot. I would guess around 16 years old, but maybe 14 at the youngest. She said that her school bus never arrived and she didn't live in the area, so she couldn't walk home like the rest of her classmates who were waiting for the bus did. I said, "Ok, well how did you get here?" She got dropped off, she said. "Ok, well call your parents," I said. She doesn't know their phone number, she said. She never actually directly asked me for anything and I couldn't figure out how I could help. Of course, now that I'm thinking about it after the fact, I could've called her school (she mentioned the name of a school I was not familar with, but I could've Googled it) to send out a bus for her or called a Lyft for her depending on how far away the school was (or would that have been bad to put her in a car with a "scary" Lyft driver?). I maybe could've called the police non-emergency number to report a stranded teen? I certainly wasn't going to drive her anywhere myself, so that was never a thought in my mind. To be honest, I was a little suspicious of her. Where I live, teenagers commit violent crimes so they aren't always harmless. I couldn't figure out whether she was trying to ask for money or what, but there was no public transportation around so I don't think money would've helped anyway. The parking lot was right next to a Starbucks, a grocery store, and some other businesses so I don't know if she had already gone in and tried to ask any of the employees for help (wouldn't that have been better than asking random strangers in the parking lot? I don't know if I should've suggested that she go in and ask someone for help?) After she spoke to me, I saw her talking to a man in the parking lot and he looked like maybe he was trying to assist her (he didn't look like a killer or kidnapper or anything...hopefully he wasn't).

Anyway, I just felt bad that I didn't do anything for her. I don't think it's normal for a teenager to not know how to contact their parents/guardians in an emergency. But certainly as parents, I assume that you all probably would've known how to handle the situation right away.


As the police asked me one time , what does a killer or kidnapper look like exactly ? do you think maybe she had been missing for a while and did not know where she was ? I think you should have called 911 immediately and asked them to send an officer out to where you all were and maybe she could have gotten help. why are people so hesitant to use 911 that is what it is there for Ö I hope she got some help if she needed it .
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:02 AM
 
2,066 posts, read 699,344 times
Reputation: 5304
A sad situation no matter what the circumstances. I'm a parent and have been occasionally taken in by a sad story but this sounds a little weird. I think I might have gone the 911 route, but that's easier to say sitting here comfortably and thinking about it, without her standing in front of me and the need to make an immediate decision. Heck, she may be a victim of human trafficking and have been trying to get you into some position where you could be robbed.
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:35 AM
 
978 posts, read 297,496 times
Reputation: 2136
Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
Heck, she may be a victim of human trafficking and have been trying to get you into some position where you could be robbed.
Or she could have been fleeing her pimp.

Calling 911 is the right thing to do.

However, I am very bad with on the spot decisions. Later on, after I think about it, I can see what I should have done, but at the moment - I am awful.
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Sugarland
13,752 posts, read 12,709,087 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YorktownGal View Post
Or she could have been fleeing her pimp.

Calling 911 is the right thing to do.

However, I am very bad with on the spot decisions. Later on, after I think about it, I can see what I should have done, but at the moment - I am awful.
Geez, I hope not. But what kind of cover story is "My school bus never showed up" if you're trying to flee a pimp? Instead of standing in a parking lot approaching strangers, you wouldn't go into the Starbucks or grocery store and ask an employee to call for help in fleeing your pimp?
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:50 AM
 
3,899 posts, read 2,740,705 times
Reputation: 7177
What a strange story. I think I would call the police now, explain what happened and suggest they drive by and see if she's still there. Something's not right, maybe there's still time to get some help.
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
43,154 posts, read 41,752,473 times
Reputation: 82879
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet Like Sugar View Post
Geez, I hope not. But what kind of cover story is "My school bus never showed up" if you're trying to flee a pimp? Instead of standing in a parking lot approaching strangers, you wouldn't go into the Starbucks or grocery store and ask an employee to call for help in fleeing your pimp?
There's a whole psychological aspect to the mindset of victims of sex trafficking, and no, they aren't always of the frame of mind to say, "I'm fleeing my pimp." There can be a great deal of shame and fear involved, so they will do what they think will get them help while attracting the least amount of attention.

I do think calling 911 and explaining your concerns would be the best bet next time. At minimum they could come out and investigate a panhandler, and then look into sex trafficking etc.
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Winterpeg
880 posts, read 334,774 times
Reputation: 3696
911 really? Iím not American, so maybe this is a cultural thing, but I donít see where a teenager standing in a Starbucks parking lot in broad daylight is worthy of emergency services. Is she really in danger right then? Is a crime being committed?

Is this some huge rural area? Do kids normally get picked up by school buses at Starbucks an unwalkable distance from home? Iíd offer to call her school for her and see her reaction. A teen of that age who canít figure out how to get to school is weird. Itís possible she was giving you a line for some purpose.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Sugarland
13,752 posts, read 12,709,087 times
Reputation: 16605
Quote:
Originally Posted by bondaroo View Post
911 really? I’m not American, so maybe this is a cultural thing, but I don’t see where a teenager standing in a Starbucks parking lot in broad daylight is worthy of emergency services. Is she really in danger right then? Is a crime being committed?

Is this some huge rural area? Do kids normally get picked up by school buses at Starbucks an unwalkable distance from home? I’d offer to call her school for her and see her reaction. A teen of that age who can’t figure out how to get to school is weird. It’s possible she was giving you a line for some purpose.
I feel like 911 is too extreme for this situation too, but I'm also a person who's never had to call 911 for anything, but I do have the police non-emergency number saved in my phone. I had actually just sent that phone number to my mom yesterday because she has called 911 a few times for situations that I didn't feel were emergencies, but it still didn't occur to me at the time to use it for this teen in the parking lot.

It's a suburban area. The Starbucks/parking lot is also directly across from another school, so she could've gone there for help. It's not a deserted area where no one else would've been around besides me, but I still feel bad.
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