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Had a visit from a cop last night

daisyduckie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I hope you don't mind, but I need to vent a bit. So here is the story: coming home from work a few days ago I had a bit of a scare with a child. And apparently his dad is none to pleased with me. I had just turned onto my road, and everything happened fast, so I will try to make it make sense.

I turn left onto my street, which is a dead end street. I could see right away the school bus had just dropped off kids, as they were all on the sidewalks. Right as I noticed that, one of the kids (who were on the sidewalk on the opposite side from me) stepped into the road and started crossing. As I went by, I looked in my rear-view mirror and this kid is jumping up and down in the road waving his arms around at me. Ok, when I say kid this child looks to be 12. The whole thing freaked me out a little, as I was like what the heck is that kid doing? But I drove home and forgot about it.

Last night I get a knock on my door, and it is a cop. He tells me that I am not in any sort of trouble, but that the dad of the child in the incident has a camera out of his house, and was very angry at me. I told him I knew exactly what he was referring to, and that I had no idea the kid was running at my car, it happened so quickly. I truly happened within the span of me passing 3 houses, it happened fast! Cop said just for me to be a bit more aware of the kids. The dad wanted to come down and yell at me, but the cop talked him out of it.

So last night I didn't sleep very well, as the whole thing has me a bit unnerved. I'm a good driver. I don't drive fast, in fact my friends mock me for driving like a grandma. I have never in 35 years of driving had a ticket of any kind. But good grief, what if I would have hit that child?????? I'm still a bit shaken, and now I'm hoping that this parent isn't going to be holding a grudge and looking for me to drive by. I'm also hoping he tells his kid to use the crosswalk at the very beginning of the street, as I'm not the only one that could end up involved in something like this, if he continues to run out into the middle of the road.

I really wish I could go talk to the dad, but I feel that would be really stupid. Just be to let this be, and to keep my eyes open, right?
 

epcotisbest

Well-Known Member
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I hope you don't mind, but I need to vent a bit. So here is the story: coming home from work a few days ago I had a bit of a scare with a child. And apparently his dad is none to pleased with me. I had just turned onto my road, and everything happened fast, so I will try to make it make sense.

I turn left onto my street, which is a dead end street. I could see right away the school bus had just dropped off kids, as they were all on the sidewalks. Right as I noticed that, one of the kids (who were on the sidewalk on the opposite side from me) stepped into the road and started crossing. As I went by, I looked in my rear-view mirror and this kid is jumping up and down in the road waving his arms around at me. Ok, when I say kid this child looks to be 12. The whole thing freaked me out a little, as I was like what the heck is that kid doing? But I drove home and forgot about it.

Last night I get a knock on my door, and it is a cop. He tells me that I am not in any sort of trouble, but that the dad of the child in the incident has a camera out of his house, and was very angry at me. I told him I knew exactly what he was referring to, and that I had no idea the kid was running at my car, it happened so quickly. I truly happened within the span of me passing 3 houses, it happened fast! Cop said just for me to be a bit more aware of the kids. The dad wanted to come down and yell at me, but the cop talked him out of it.

So last night I didn't sleep very well, as the whole thing has me a bit unnerved. I'm a good driver. I don't drive fast, in fact my friends mock me for driving like a grandma. I have never in 35 years of driving had a ticket of any kind. But good grief, what if I would have hit that child?????? I'm still a bit shaken, and now I'm hoping that this parent isn't going to be holding a grudge and looking for me to drive by. I'm also hoping he tells his kid to use the crosswalk at the very beginning of the street, as I'm not the only one that could end up involved in something like this, if he continues to run out into the middle of the road.

I really wish I could go talk to the dad, but I feel that would be really stupid. Just be to let this be, and to keep my eyes open, right?
Wow, sounds like a sticky situation. Seems to me a visit to the dad right away might help prevent something from growing into a deeper resentment.
Even if you did nothing wrong, an apology from you, and maybe a statement of regret and accepting that you made them upset, but it was not intentional or malicious in any way, would diffuse their anger.
And, if they called the cops, they are clearly angry.
If you are 100 percent in the right and did nothing wrong, I don't think any good would come of ignoring this, and I would bet they won't care about excuses or explanations either.
Again, diffusing now, and being genuinely apologetic, even if you have nothing to apologize for, might ease future tensions.
People can get crazy about what they might consider a danger to their child, even if it is not real.
So maybe state something about making an effort to be more aware of the kids while driving in the neighborhood, and as painful as it may be, thank the dad for letting you know.
Thanking someone that way may deescalate the whole thing.
Now, this won't be the easy thing to do, but in the long run may ease future tension with a neighbor.
And saying he should teach his kid to be more careful won't help as this person has already laid all the blame on you, no matter how wrong he may be. After all, little Johnny never does anything wrong.
To summarize, I personally would own it, even it it was not mine to own, and diffuse any possible future tension.
If that does not work, at least you tried.
 

StarWarsGirl

Well-Known Member
Wow...

Okay, first of all, let me assure you that it sounds like you did nothing wrong.

Unless there is a stop sign, a traffic light, or something else indicating oncoming traffic should stop, oncoming traffic always has right of way over pedestrians looking to cross. Always. Now, if the kids had already been in the crosswalk, that would have been a different story, but the kids should have waited for you to pass. And granted, you should exercise caution when there's kids around, but these were, what, middle school aged kids? They really ought to have known better.

Which is why that cop let you know that you weren't in any trouble. He had a responsibility to let you know that the neighbors was angry and yes to say, let's just be careful when kids are around, but I'll bet he also said to the neighbor that the kids needed to wait until it was safe. And also he talked the neighbor out of coming over to your house because it was in fact a very bad idea.

At this point, I would just let the situation go. Your neighbor, quite frankly, sounds like a jerk, and I don't think there's really anything you can do to diffuse it, especially physically going over to his property. I think it would just put you in the line of fire. However, if you really feel like you should difuse the situation, and if you have a phone number, you could maybe call, or leave a note, but I'm not sure what it would do. I would avoid physically going over to their property. At least if you were on the phone, you could just politely end the conversation if things got heated. But a neighbor who calls the cops on someone over what should essentially be them telling their kid to be more careful? Jerky behavior.

And hopefully, this is unlikely, but if he shows up onto your property, 1. Apologize for the situation occuring (don't admit any guilt) 2. If that isn't enough to make him leave or if he's still angry, calmly ask him to leave your property and 3. If he doesn't leave your property and he's still angry, ask him gain and let him know that if he doesn't leave your property, your next call will be to the police to file harassment charges. Then go inside and lock the doors. And here's the thing: you don't actually have to do it. Threatening should be enough. Unless of course he continues, but he probably won't.

And if he calls, do the same thing, apologize. If he's angry and won't listen, just hang up. Most likely he won't try again.
 

Sans Souci

Well-Known Member
I wouldn't engage, either.

This guy sounds like the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. He wants to confront you about his kid's mistake, but he's too frightened to carry it out. He calls the police and then tells the cop he wants to confront you. But the cop tells him not to it. He would have done it from the outset, if he truly wanted. He's a passive aggressive bully. He's too frightened to show up at your door to explain what has happened, so he outsourced it to a third party.

All he needed to do was show up at your door, calmly explain what happened and told you to drive safely in the neighborhood. There was absolutely no need to call the cops. This is me, but I wouldn't answer the door for him or acknowledge him in anyway. He has made his point and I wouldn't give him an inch to give me any further abuse. You owe him nothing.
 

epcotisbest

Well-Known Member
I wouldn't engage, either.

This guy sounds like the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. He wants to confront you about his kid's mistake, but he's too frightened to carry it out. He calls the police and then tells the cop he wants to confront you. But the cop tells him not to it. He would have done it from the outset, if he truly wanted. He's a passive aggressive bully. He's too frightened to show up at your door to explain what has happened, so he outsourced it to a third party.

All he needed to do was show up at your door, calmly explain what happened and told you to drive safely in the neighborhood. There was absolutely no need to call the cops. This is me, but I wouldn't answer the door for him or acknowledge him in anyway. He has made his point and I wouldn't give him an inch to give me any further abuse. You owe him nothing.
Passive aggressive bullies don't stop being that way when ignored. I prefer diplomacy as a first effort.
 

Dad 2 M & M

Well-Known Member
@daisyduckie

The biggest consideration here is emotion is at play now, and clear thinking thought might not be at hand. The old saying is "emotion has an IQ of zero!"

You didn't do anything wrong, and thankfully no one was hurt. That is easy to overlook. Kept that in mind!

Now, on to what to do - there is not a one size fits all perfect solution.

Do you know the child's dad, or have any inkling to his demeanor? Is he cool and down to earth normally? If so, his emotion is high right now as he needs time to calm a bit.

Would you consider leaving a short note in his mailbox? Just a couple of lines stating you feel terrible as always you were going slow, and didn't see his kid step out until you were almost past him. Maybe even point out how thankful you were his kid was alert enough to be aware of his surroundings? Advise you love to come by and express how thankful the kid was not injured, your grief/feelings in person.

Remember there is passion/emotion at play here and again, clear thinking may not exist. I think the short note would display your feelings as your are clearly shaken, and he and his son need to know this. The "kid alert and aware" part might do the trick as it would be throwing a compliment to the kid....that might be enough get them to actual think clearly and realize no one was hurt, how to be more careful in the future, and their neighbor down the street is a compassionate person

Remember feelings, not thought are in the driver's seat at the moment
 

Dad 2 M & M

Well-Known Member
I just prefer to be proactive. Of course, my approach could fail spectacularly.
I'd be proative as well....but start with a short note in the mailbox, not face to face. He might be a cool dude tripin on the emotion of his kid's well being. If his emotion is real high, there might be zero reasoning until he settles down....

This approach could fail as well....
 

Sans Souci

Well-Known Member
I just prefer to be proactive. Of course, my approach could fail spectacularly.

Usually, I would be, too, but the fact this guy got the cops involved is a red flag to me. This is someone who can't express his feelings appropriately for whatever reason.

People like this:
 
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StarWarsGirl

Well-Known Member
Usually, I would be, too, but the fact this guy got the cops involved is a red flag to me. This is someone who can't express his feelings appropriately for whatever reason.

People like this:
Yup. Calling the cops...not the right reaction.

It also sounds like the bus needs to remain there with the stop sign out until the students have crossed. In which case, this guy should call his school's department of transportation. Cops...err... nope.
 

MinnieM123

Well-Known Member
This is a tough call. In a way, I agree with @epcotisbest -- to say a few words, or leave a brief note in the guy's mailbox.

But my hunch is also that since he was angry enough to called the cops, anything you say or write to him after the fact, he could misconstrue, as some sort of admission of guilt -- (even though you felt you honestly did nothing wrong). Hence, my vote would be to not approach him. Keep in mind he probably got some satisfaction knowing that the cop was paying you a visit. He'll probably cool down and forget about the whole thing in a few days.

I am a bit surprised that the school bus did not keep up the stop signal until all the children walked away, or crossed the street or whatever.
 

Songbird76

Well-Known Member
Maybe I'm reading this in a weird way, but you said you turned onto your street, which is a dead-end street. But the bus was no longer there, correct? So how could the bus have JUST dropped kids off? Where did it go on a dead end street if you did not meet it coming back from just dropping kids off? To me, it sounds like a bunch of kids were just hanging around there after being dropped off, and one wasn't paying attention when he decided to cross. That's his mistake, not yours. My guess from experience is that this kid embellished the story a bit to keep from getting in trouble. He probably didn't tell dad the whole story. I go by my DD's school every day on my way to pick up my DS from his school, and there are always kids, usually boys, who are doing stupid things....throwing firecrackers or snowballs at passing cars, darting out on bikes in front of oncoming traffic, lighting firecrackers in the middle of the bike lane...it happens a lot, trying to impress friends and look cool. And I doubt these boys go home and tell their parents that they were doing these things, and they would probably edit their role in the telling of the story if something happened. Your neighbor is forgetting that kids are kids....they do stupid things they think they can get away with. A boy I went to school with tried to beat a train, killing all 4 teens in the car. It's not the train engineer's fault he couldn't stop in time.
This kid's lucky you "drive like a grandma" from the sounds of it, because I'm guessing he is more angry about looking stupid in front of his peers than anything, and he can't take responsibility for his own mistake. It could have happened to anyone, and it's lucky that he didn't step in front of someone going faster. It's easier to get defensive than it is to admit you were in the wrong, and kids that age are notorious for having a lack of insight into their own behavior...it's always someone else's fault and they are invincible.

If you really feel there's something to apologize for, write a note. And you can word it in such a way that it is sincere, but also clues dad in to his son's involvement.

Dear so-and-so,
I'm so sorry to hear you were upset about the incident on Friday when I was coming home from work. I was so busy paying attention to all the kids who had just been dropped off, and were on the sidewalk or crossing at the crosswalk, that I did not see your son step out into the street as he was not among those crossing at the designated spot. I'm so glad nothing happened to your son! I assure you that I will be more vigilant in watching for kids who are not crossing where they are supposed to so this does not happen again. I was quite shaken when I realized that someone had darted out and I missed it, and I certainly don't want to experience that again.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
Wow...

Unless there is a stop sign, a traffic light, or something else indicating oncoming traffic should stop, oncoming traffic always has right of way over pedestrians looking to cross. Always.
I think you might have that backwards unless it is different in Maryland, but, I have never heard of that. In my training and driving experience legally.. Pedestrians always, always , always have the right of way. Motor Vehicles are all a lot bigger then people.
 

StarWarsGirl

Well-Known Member
I think you might have that backwards unless it is different in Maryland, but, I have never heard of that. In my training and driving experience legally.. Pedestrians always, always , always have the right of way. Motor Vehicles are all a lot bigger then people.
Pedestrians only have right of way if there is something indicating a vehicle should stop, for instance, a stop sign or a traffic light. If there's no stop sign or traffic light, the pedestrian should wait to cross until the car has passed. Now, if the pedestrian is already in the crosswalk, oncoming traffic should stop, but if there's nothing indicating traffic should stop, then traffic should have the right of way.


We actually have stricter laws here than in most states. Ours got revised a few years ago. Too many idiot drivers around here.
 

Dad 2 M & M

Well-Known Member
I think you might have that backwards unless it is different in Maryland, but, I have never heard of that. In my training and driving experience legally.. Pedestrians always, always , always have the right of way. Motor Vehicles are all a lot bigger then people.
Common misconception; There are a select few instances pedestrians have the right of way. As @StarWarsGirl states above, and quoted below. And when there IS a stop sign or stoplight, with a pedestrian crosswalk, the pedestrian is guilty jay walking if they cross eslewhere.
Pedestrians only have right of way if there is something indicating a vehicle should stop, for instance, a stop sign or a traffic light. If there's no stop sign or traffic light, the pedestrian should wait to cross until the car has passed. Now, if the pedestrian is already in the crosswalk, oncoming traffic should stop, but if there's nothing indicating traffic should stop, then traffic should have the right of way.


We actually have stricter laws here than in most states. Ours got revised a few years ago. Too many idiot drivers around here.
Well done!
 
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Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
Pedestrians only have right of way if there is something indicating a vehicle should stop, for instance, a stop sign or a traffic light. If there's no stop sign or traffic light, the pedestrian should wait to cross until the car has passed. Now, if the pedestrian is already in the crosswalk, oncoming traffic should stop, but if there's nothing indicating traffic should stop, then traffic should have the right of way.


We actually have stricter laws here than in most states. Ours got revised a few years ago. Too many idiot drivers around here.
Common misconception; There are a select few instances pedestrians have the right of way. As @StarWarsGirl states above, and quoted below. And when there IS a stop sign or stoplight, with a pedestrian walk way, the pedestrian is guilty jay walking if the cross eslewhere.
Well done!
Tell you what you do... hit a pedestrian anywhere, crosswalk, side of the road, crossing in the middle of a block and see what happens to you. It will not be a fun time. No jury in the world will call in favor of a driver against a grieving family. Charging a dead person with jay walking will not be terribly effective. Laws covering being in a crosswalk or entering one is instantly the fault of the driver no grey area. Hit someone else jaywalking or not and it will be a judgement call based on a lot of things, but, certainly not automatically against the pedestrian.
 

Dad 2 M & M

Well-Known Member
Tell you what you do... hit a pedestrian anywhere, crosswalk, side of the road, crossing in the middle of a block and see what happens to you. It will not be a fun time. No jury in the world will call in favor of a driver against a grieving family. Charging a dead person with jay walking will not be terribly effective. Laws covering being in a crosswalk or entering one is instantly the fault of the driver no grey area. Hit someone else jaywalking or not and it will be a judgement call based on a lot of things, but, certainly not automatically against the pedestrian.
Wake up from your nap a bit grumpy? Too late to say it's been a minute and hope you're doing well.....

Your statements would pertain to CIVIL cases, not CRIMINAL. Criminal trials involve intent and willful misconduct. In your Jury example, whatever happens would be in a CIVIL trial. The police or DA would cite or decide on whether to bring any criminal charges, and in this case there is video that would show no criminal wrong doing.

I ask you to respect this thread as there is a fellow member here that has been shaken by a scary incident and has reached out to vent and have friends to lean on.

Private message me and I'll entertain any question/comment you have....I'll be up at least until 11:00 P.M. If I don't hear from you, enjoy the rest of your evening.
 

daisyduckie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Fwiw, I have looked up the laws here and as the law is written, the driver is only held responsible if they hit someone in a cross walk. Pedestrians do not always have right of way. We may typically give way to them to avoid any horrible accident, but they are supposed to cross only at crosswalks. They definitely are not supposed to just cross a road wherever they feel like it.

I thank you all for your thoughts and advice. As of now, I am not going to talk to the parents of the child at all. If dad was angry enough to call the cops I definitely do not want to put myself in his line of fire. And I am being more watchful when driving past those kids, even if they are on the sidewalk.
 

MouseDreaming

Well-Known Member
I think you might have that backwards unless it is different in Maryland, but, I have never heard of that. In my training and driving experience legally.. Pedestrians always, always , always have the right of way. Motor Vehicles are all a lot bigger then people.
It varies from state to state. Last year (I think it was only last year) pedestrians always have the right of way in IL, whether they are in a crosswalk or not.
 
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