Sometimes, confrontation can be the best solution

Saw a story in the news the other day.

It concerned a Bellevue man who was arrested after attempting to lure underage girls while they were shopping with their mothers.

The story had it that in mid-March, William Dallas allegedly walked up to within an inch of a 12-year-old girl to spe

ak with her. The girl’s mother immediately pulled her away. When a store employee saw the commotion, she escorted the mother and young girl to the store office. Dallas followed them, but later left.

Shortly thereafter, he allegedly began staring at a 10-year-old, but her mother saw this, finished shopping, and left the store. They were followed to the parking lot by Dallas, who went up to the girl while her mother was stuffing groceries into their car and began talking to her. The mother went into the mode most mothers would and, soon, several store employees showed up only to have Dallas threaten them.

The story went on to say that “From descriptions, police traced the man and spoke with his mother. She told police he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia eight years ago. Police learned that he had a significant arrest history, with cases for child rape and several assault arrests that didn’t stick. He had been convicted for several other acts including fourth-degree assault and third-degree theft.”

Further: “Dallas admitted to speaking to both the victims, and asking the 10-year-old to come home with him. … He said he was looking for actresses to star in a series called Witchwood, a show about a family of witches.” He was arrested for luring and is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday. Prosecutors “characterized him as a danger to children.”

Do tell.

This one is just plain scary. Scary because it involves kids. Scary because we all know that there are people out here with problems. Serious problems. Many are being successfully treated. Others, however, aren’t — or may not be responding to treatment — and those are the ones that are worrisome. Worrisome because of the damage they can cause.

In this case, there’s a dark part of me that says that we should lock this individual up and throw away the key. That’s because I have a gut feeling that, if nothing’s done, there’s a kid somewhere who’s living on borrowed time. But gut feelings aren’t the law.

Still, I have a granddaughter who’s 7 years old and — like every other grandpa I know — she’s the apple of my eye. That’s why I was glad to read that both mothers went into “mama bear” mode and got their daughters away from Dallas. Truth be told, however, what I’m truly impressed with is the fact that they somehow managed to forego attempting to dismember the guy which (sadly) would’ve likely earned them a trip downtown, too.

A few years back I wrote about a peeping Tom who, when I was a child, was wandering our neighborhood at night. Back then, I didn’t understand what the term meant, but I knew that the dads (most just a few years back from World War II) had a plan and eventually caught up with him and called the police 30 minutes later. The creep never returned and I think that that was because “harsh reality” is a great teaching tool.

Again, I’m glad that those mothers acted as they did, but I also like to believe that there are more than a few Neanderthal males still around who might have behaved a bit differently.

Differently in that they might’ve collared this guy and indicated — with furrowed brows and not very subtle language — that he might want to quickly crawl back into whatever hole he’d just come from or else they’d be more than happy to give him a personally guided and very complete tour of the nearest “hurt locker.”

I also believe that such confrontations — were they more common — might cause certain individuals to stop and consider that the adult accompanying a child might be someone fully willing to introduce them to “harsh reality” and letting the police sort it all out later. Which would make for a better world.

For those who disagree, sorry but, whenever kids are subjected to crap like this, my dark side shows up rather quickly.

And always will.

Larry Simoneaux lives in Edmonds. Send comments to larrysim@comcast.net.

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