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aibu to think this guy was completely off his rocker or just a nasty piece of work?

(157 Posts)
blushingm Mon 27-Jun-11 18:35:49

I left ds (9yo) in the back of the car while i nipped into the guide hall to collect dd from rainbows. he was reading and is quite sensible. I left the engine running as it was warm and the air con was on.

while i was in the guide hall an old guy walking his dog approached my car and started swearing and threatening ds. He then went around the otherside of the car, removed my keys and threw them over the wall into the adjoining grave yard.

i was gone less than 5 minutes. there was a guy parked behind my car who saw it all - he retrieved my keys and tried to chase after the older guy but he'd gone. ds was very very upset

i'm angry and shock that someone would think it's ok to behave that way - the guide hut is in a very very small, usually friendly town - people dont usually lock thier cars and houses unless they are going away

the more i think about it the more cross i am getting

mumnotmachine Mon 27-Jun-11 18:44:49

While its not ok for someone to enter your car and remove the keys I am gobsmacked you left your son in the car with the engine running!!

belledechocchipcookie Mon 27-Jun-11 18:47:40

I'm assuming the old man was complaining about the parent who had left a child unattended in a car with the engine running. It takes seconds for a fire to start. It sounds like he was protecting your child, you should be grateful and have a think about how you reacted.

Euphemia Mon 27-Jun-11 18:48:02

He over-reacted; perhaps he was a fundamentalist environmentalist?

Lucky for you he wasn't a total nutter, who might have driven off with your car and DS.

worraliberty Mon 27-Jun-11 18:48:34

Jesus...what mumnotmachine said shock

Why would you leave your child in the car like that with the keys in the engine? Have you never heard of car theft?

No matter now 'nice' the area is, it still happens.

Kvetch Mon 27-Jun-11 18:50:12

Go and find that old man.

Give him the biggest, most heartfelt thank you you have ever offered in your life.

He's just taught you a very valuable lesson. Learn from it.

Lorenz Mon 27-Jun-11 18:50:26

He sounds like a twat.

TheSecondComing Mon 27-Jun-11 18:50:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lorenz Mon 27-Jun-11 18:50:46

Who will probably end up getting punched one day for gobbing off.

MoonGirl1981 Mon 27-Jun-11 18:51:00

Maybe you shouln't have left the engine running but this guy was a knob.

You need to contact the police, they can retrieve CCTV footage and your son can identify him.

Shouting at a child is NOT ON and swearing in public can carry an £80 fine!!

wimpybar Mon 27-Jun-11 18:52:08

frightening her child who was cool as a cumcumber in an air-con car taught her what lesson exactly?

mumnotmachine Mon 27-Jun-11 18:53:26

Even if you were only gone less than 5 minutes, and your sone might be sensible, in that time a stranger entered your car and took out your keys.
You should be counting your lucky stars your car wasnt driven off with your son still in it- just because you live in a nice small village doesnt count for anything- there are nutters and thieves wherever you go..............as you found out- luckily not to your cost.

Ive left my 9yo son in the car on occassion for a couple of minutes- with doors firmly locked, windows shut and keys in my hand.....would never leave car unlocked, never mind with engine running!

veritythebrave Mon 27-Jun-11 18:53:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lorenz Mon 27-Jun-11 18:55:07

Don't know what's worse - 9 year old left in car with engine running or 9 year old "firmly locked" inside car. Imagine if something crashed into it and he couldn't get out? or a fire started?

Do you have child locks on or could he open it from the inside?

headfairy Mon 27-Jun-11 18:56:31

agreed the old man behaved badly. what he should have done if he was concerned is wait by the car until you came back and then given you the bollocking you deserve for leaving a child in charge of a car - which is effectively what you've done there.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Mon 27-Jun-11 18:57:00

i can't believe people are saying the guy was right to act in such a way!!

usualsuspect Mon 27-Jun-11 18:57:08

I think its perfectly ok to leave a 9 year old in a car for a few minutes

the man sounds a bit unhinged

MistressFrankly Mon 27-Jun-11 18:57:44

He shouldnt have scared DS but really dont leave the car running! I nearly burnt down my mums car playing with the cigerette lighter. I managed to extinguish it with a drink but still melted half the seat cover blush

Agree with worra doesnt matter how nice the area, keys in car running is too much of an invitation. DS being driven off by theives would have scared him and you a lot more imo. DS may be sensible but its not just him you have to worry about.

worraliberty Mon 27-Jun-11 18:58:12

Blimey, what's wrong with insisting the son goes into the hall with her?

libelulle Mon 27-Jun-11 18:58:34

mumnot and verity, surely locking a child in a car in 30 degree heat with the windows shut is waay more dangerous than leaving the doors open with engine and aircon on. It doesn't take long to literally cook in that kind of environment.

Clearly the man was a nutter and I'm amazed anyone could think differently!

blushingm Mon 27-Jun-11 18:59:16

the car doors were all unlocked so ds was not trapped in the car and there were other parents sitting in their cars infront and behind mine - he is a very sensible and quite mature 9 year old so I have no qualms about leaving him in the car. If he was a toddler I would have taken him with me. He's 9, almost 10. I let him go to the local shop on his own and it's not like he needs to be in my sight every waking moment!

I am surprised people think it's ok for this guy to behave like this and that I am terrible for letting him stay in the car

MistressFrankly Mon 27-Jun-11 19:00:56

Dont think people are saying the guy was right. I think they are just more suprised that OP left the car running than being suprised that some fella was a bit unhinged/acted innappropriately.

blushingm Mon 27-Jun-11 19:01:02

i did think of going to the police but the station is only open 9-5 (closed for lunch and half day wednesday!) and there is no cctv in the town (it's more of a village but it has a town hall so it's a town)

mumnotmachine Mon 27-Jun-11 19:01:51

I should also add that when son is "firmly locked" in car the car is not actually out of my sight, the occasions it would be done would be for example if I was getting petrol, or picking up dd from somewhere where I would park right outside.
If it involves going out of sight ds would have to come with me- under much protest, but hey ho, thats life LOL

Lorenz Mon 27-Jun-11 19:02:01

Well I always leave my 10 year old in the car and if some dick came up and started verbally abusing him before taking off with my car keys I'd make sure the keys ended up firmly shoved down the arsehole's throat. What a prize prick. And then they wonder why they get attacked.

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