Whoops, did I kidnap a toddler?

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Reagan Bass

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Hypothetically, a story of courage, and a lesson in ethics. In 1994, at age 17, living in Portland, Oregon, I was your all-around American girl (Height 5'8", pale white, blonde hair, blue-eyed, and skinny). At the beginning, of my senior year of high school, I started a part-time job working in chinese buffet restaurant. One Saturday afternoon, I was washing my hands at the waitstaff station, lifted my head up to witness a grown adult chuck a glass of liquid onto a toddler's face. This incident occurred about 10 feet in front of me. I observed an occupied table consisting of: two male adults, approximately in their late 20's, six boys around the ages 10 to a toddler. The toddler, I was concerned for, was sitting at the end of tables, in a highchair. Pure adrenaline guided my body over to the chaotic table. I walked over to the tearful, sticky, soken little boy. I found myself, picking up the toddler into my arms, and carrying him over to the waitstaff station. Diners, staff, watched me sit the child on the counter, next to a sink and rinse soda-pop from his hair, face, and hands. The offending male adult came up to me and stood silent. Immediately, instinctively, ignorantly, I turned my head; while balancing the child on the counter, and I looked straight into the guy's eye, and stated: "Are you this child's father, because I will not believe you are this child's father?!" The stammer that came out of the guy's voice: "No, his dad is over there." He pointed to some direction, but my eyes did not waiver. A heavy sigh let out of the guy's breath and he continued, "he deserved it." I proceeded to explain how I was going to only give this child back to his dad and that no child deserved to have anything thrown at them, and if he had an issue, I would happily call the police. The guy sulked back to his table. Within minutes, the dad came over to retrieve a happy toddler, and I explained to the dad the scene I witnessed. The dad gave a sheepish "thank you" as he took his kid back to the table. I felt courageous at the time, and patrons, staff, my boss confirmed my courage. However, were my actions legal? Nope. Legally, my actions could have been viewed as, kidnapping. I do wonder what that little boy (now a young man) is doing to make the world a better place.


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Image of Fredae
Fredae · ago
This world need's such intervention!
Image of Surabhi Subbaramu
Surabhi Subbaramu · ago
Great read

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