“Child lure incident!” Read the alert that was posted on social media in Teaneck, New Jersey last Friday.
The child said, “A car-driving man pulled up to the scene and attempted to bring a child into his home at 11 AM on December 31/21.” The child clearly said, “I don’t accept strangers’ rides,” and “no” several times before walking off. After the child said that, then the driver laughed and replied “I will follow your lead then”. Teaneck police were already informed. They are now looking for information to identify the child. Please contact Teaneck police immediately with any additional information.
A Ring camera was used to capture footage of the post. This popular surveillance system monitors much suburban America. The footage showed a young boy walking along a quiet street as a car slows and someone speaks to him.
If you listen very closely—more closely than you would have to listen to hear a worm breathe—perhaps you can make out the boy defying the driver. It seems that “Clearly hear the child” is exaggerated. Another person in the car says, “We have candy!”
“I told you, don’t post it on this site! Keith Kaplan of Teaneck, who is the Teaneck town councilman, recalls, “I bet you $1 it’s nothing,” Teaneck Today website in an unofficial capacity. But another one of the site’s administrators, his friend, Deputy Mayor Mark J. Schwartz, pressed publish—and the news went viral.
Kaplan: “Then it became on, like 10 different Facebook groups in a matter of ten minutes.”
Police were quick to respond.
But it took a few days for Debra Passner to notice it—and gasp.
“Oh my God, oh my God!” Her husband recalls the words she said to her. Because there was a clip of us and our son!
After attending a family event, the Passners were with their 14 year-old son. He wanted to go home early as 14-year olds do. His parents gave his blessing and he started walking to home. He was later seen by his parents as he was driving back home. They stopped and offered him a ride.
Debra Passner remembers that her son was a wiseass and said, “I don’t accept rides from strangers.” She leaned forward and said, “Don’t you love candy?” “We have candy!”
His father said to his son, after he shook his head and looked at him, “Okay. Then I’ll Follow You.” The couple continued on their way, driving for a few more minutes.
The Passners saw the online video and immediately called police. Debra Passner said, “You could tell they were trying to not laugh.” They also stated that their baby was safe and sound, which is not something to worry about.
Police officers visited the Passners and were happy with their story. They issued a press statement stating that they had identified the child as well as the suspects and concluded that both were relatives and there was no attempt to lure them.
The post was shared online. “But then of course there’s all the better-safe-than-sorry comments,” says Kaplan, who recalled two similar times his town erupted in fear, only to learn nothing nefarious was going on.
One time, a group of men in vans spoke to a young child. The men were out-of-town painters and couldn’t locate an address. One woman also gave a note to her child. Kaplan doesn’t remember the exact details of what was given to her, but she can recall that it was not something.
He was so certain that the incident would be a mundane one.
He says, “Because I’ve learned from experience that it is not the most efficient use of peoples’ time to walk up and down streets with people on them if your goal is to find children to abduct.” “If that were the case, it would have been possible to offload one or more of mine.”