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To think this is creepy or is it just old school?

(43 Posts)
Nuttychicken Wed 10-Apr-19 22:44:06

Long term lurker but I could really do with collective wisdom so braving it on AIBU. My DS 10 was out with my Dsis and DD (plus family friend). They were in a sport shop. DS wandered a few yards away from the others to look at something but D still visible. Without any warning an offer man passed my son and as he did so he pinched my son's cheek hard. The man then walked away. DS didn't mention anything straight away but he was obviously quite uncertain. By the time he said anything the old man was long gone.
I had an aunt who did this to me when I was little and I hated it but there's something about the fact this is a stranger touching my DS that I find really creepy and it feels almost predatory.
Am I overreacting?

Nuttychicken Wed 10-Apr-19 22:45:35

*older man

RosemarysBush Wed 10-Apr-19 22:47:20

Yeah bit weird. Is your son ok?

sarahb083 Wed 10-Apr-19 22:48:03

You are not overreacting. That's predatory and vile. I'm sorry it happened to your DS.

Nuttychicken Wed 10-Apr-19 22:50:01

Yeah. He's OK but he's talked about it a few times so obviously on his mind. He demonstrated it by pinching my cheek and it seems it was quite a hard pinch.

Nuttychicken Wed 10-Apr-19 22:52:13

I'm debating whether to report to police, more for their knowledge rather than getting anything done about it. Am I overreacting!?

RosemarysBush Wed 10-Apr-19 22:55:25

Um, yeah, might be worth reporting to police, definitely. Can your ds give a description (without quizzing him too much or making a big thing out of it)?

3ChangingForNow Wed 10-Apr-19 22:56:36

Police is an overreaction

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Wed 10-Apr-19 22:56:49

Very weird indeed.

RosemarysBush Wed 10-Apr-19 22:56:54

It could be one of those situations where lots of little (seemingly unimportant) things add up a bigger picture for the police.

3ChangingForNow Wed 10-Apr-19 22:57:43

Some people are weird. Forget and move on

Takethebuscuitandthesink Wed 10-Apr-19 23:04:26

Many people did this in the past maybe a little odd now but certainly not a police matter with how overstretched they are remember an officer who you call out to attend to this is an officer who could be spending that time catching burgers, murderers, drug dealers, etc not cheek pinchers. That being said I feel sorry for your ds and you should tell him (in age appropriate language) that if he ever has anything that makes him feel uncomfortable from an adult in future he should ask them to stop and if they persist he should do everything possible to get away from this person and if you aren’t with him look for a police officer.

managedmis Wed 10-Apr-19 23:08:42

Can't see the police doing anything tbh

Nuttychicken Wed 10-Apr-19 23:09:10

Not sure he got a great look at the guy tbh but think that if police are interested they can check Cctv in the shop. It just feels weird and I wouldn't want to not say something then find that it's a pattern and he's tried to engage other kids in a more sinister way. On the other hand, I know some older people might do this as an old school means of engaging in a friendly way, not realising it's just plain creepy.

Nuttychicken Wed 10-Apr-19 23:13:45

Takethebiscuit, that's a fair point.

powershowerforanhour Wed 10-Apr-19 23:15:01

Many people did this in the past

What? Why? It's horrid and weird.
I've seen old comedy type promgrammes where some old dear gently grasps both cheeks of a younger child in a "you're such a bonny youngster" approving way, and Dennis the Menace in comics getting frogmarched by the ear when up to no good in an Ouch! Yaroo! Gerroff! way but randomly grabbing somebody's face in passing, hard and painfully, then walking off? WTF??? Would they view a light kick in the bollocks as a normal social interaction?

AnnieOH1 Wed 10-Apr-19 23:17:09

Report to non-emergency number. This could help build a picture that is the difference between additional help for someone with mental health needs and them slipping through the net even further. It doesn't mean you're wanting to press charges, it does mean you're concerned for his welfare. Because next time it might be a girl and he ends up arrested as a pedophile, or it might be someone who's dad takes a swing at him or myriad other reasons that this guy could be a danger to himself and others.

HaroldsSocalledBluetits Wed 10-Apr-19 23:17:39

Was it Joe Biden?

ConcealDontFeeI Wed 10-Apr-19 23:27:22

Not sure he got a great look at the guy tbh but think that if police are interested they can check Cctv in the shop.

There is no way in a million years the police would check the cctv for this. In my area they don't even come out for days after violent burglaries.

Hope your son's ok. It's unpleasant, but in no way something the police have time for.

LilQueenie Wed 10-Apr-19 23:27:47

just to clarify was it pinching the cheeks in the way someone would ruffle your hair? In this time it is weird but if this was the 80's and before i wouldn't say the same. Do go with your gut feeling though. Yes it would piss me off if someone did this to dd. When I was a child it would be seen as annoying but just something some adults did iyswim.

Nuttychicken Wed 10-Apr-19 23:30:47

Thanks for the feedback. Helpful to know others have mixed views. I don't want the old man arrested - certainly not my intent but if he's physically touching children it's inappropriate at best. Think I'm going to sleep on it.

Nuttychicken Wed 10-Apr-19 23:36:58

Lilqueenie yes it was that type of cheek pinching and if it were the eighties and someone in my family I probably would have just put it down to 'old school' ways. That said, it isn't and my gut reaction is that it feels sinister. I feel quite torn. In case you can't tell!

SeasonalVag Wed 10-Apr-19 23:39:11

Yes, it sounds awful. Im still annoyed about my son being moved bodily by some entitled fuckwit a few years ago. poor lad was just standing there waiting for me to pick coffee.

HopeOverAnythingElse Wed 10-Apr-19 23:41:49


MN recommends phoning the police for many odd reasons but this might be the all time winner.

Dieu Wed 10-Apr-19 23:45:30

A weird situation, but surely one to be shrugged off. Contacting the police is a huge overreaction.

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