Saturday, February 02, 2008

Carroll Park Incident: Grown Man Kicks Five-Year-Old Boy

We came across an email relating a disturbing incident at Carroll Park on Thursday afternoon in which an adult (a father, no less) is alleged to have kicked a five-year-old boy because he didn't like the way the little boy "had grabbed" his own child. The child ended up with a bruise and the adult who kicked him quickly left the park with his own son when it may have dawned on him that trouble might ensue. We're not sure what would motivate someone to kick or hit another person's five-year-old no matter what that child did or was doing, even if there was a possible slip-up in supervision. Here is the description of the the incident from an email circulating via the BoCoCa Parents group:
I am just writing about a disturbing incident that happened to my five-year-old son in Carroll Park on Thursday afternoon. At approx 4pm he ran into the big kids' playground w/ a friend while my sitter was chatting just outside that area. A few minutes later she heard him crying and ran in there looking for him. When she found him, another boy's father was next to him loudly demanding to know who his parents were. As my sitter crouched down to see what the problem was, my son started saying that this man kicked him and when she caught wind of that and stood up to address the man she found he had taken his son and left the park. From what we can gather, through my son's account (he has a bruise on his leg) and that of another sitter who caught the tail end of the incident, my son had grabbed this guy's son and the man was so incensed that he marched over, kicked my son in the shin and started nastily berating him. Now, clearly my son shouldn't be grabbing other kids, but I don't think there's any excuse for a grown man to kick a child.
No, there is no excuse whatsoever for a grown man to kick a child. The mother is trying to find witnesses to the incident in the hope of finding the man who kicked her child.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my experience, you have to be very wary of he said she said stories about kids in playgrounds.

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like that man spent too much money on a condo and is now unemployed and forced to babysit. It is unfortunate that these things happen. So much ego at stake. I've seen a man scream at his 3 year old in that playground. I hate that playground.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous cool daddy said...

Instead of chatting with friends, the sitter would have been more inspired to manage the kid she was supposed to take care of.
Look! Manhattan is coming to Carroll Garden with wild uneducated spoiled kids bothering people all around because of dismissing parents. Great!

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm at that park with my kids a few times a week. The part of the story describing an out-of-control kid with an absent babysitter rings true, the part of the story that describes an adult kicking a five-year-old does not.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

perhaps instead of chatting -- your sitter actually should have been watching your child -- that is what you pay them for -- is it not? had your sitter actually been watching your child -- perhaps the incident could have been averted or at the very least you might have a better account of the situation instead of having to "gather" what may or may not have happened.

i am a parent and used to frequent that park with my child and i hate to break it to you parents -- but for the most part your nannies and caretakers are not doing their job. don't get me wrong there are a few who are just brilliant with your children -- but for the most part, on any given day, your paid caretakers are gabbing away on their mobiles, chit chatting in their various nanny cliques -- doing all the things i would think they should be doing on their own time...

don't believe. take a look someday -- not just as 4 o'clock when you emerge from the F -- that's when they expect you -- it's easy to be on when you know the boss is watching -- but some other time from afar and watch what really happens -- witness what you are paying for....

it's hard enough having to leave your child -- but to leave them with someone who just doesn't give a shit -- the consequence is much much harder.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So somebody is a bad babysitter or bad parent because they can't perform what is physically impossible which is to control every movement of the child at every moment?

This utterly fantastical notion of childcare is disturbing. At which point do children get to have the experience of making choices and experiencing the consequences? Never, in this new generation. Their parents make every single decision for them, hover over them and never let them make a move without an approval or disapproval. What's bizarre is if you ask a pscyhologist they'd tell you it's terrible parenting, but the new breed of yuppie parent thinks it's superior parenting.

Kids fight on playgrounds sometimes. Just accept it. Especially boys. Come on! My brothers beat the crap out of each other. Deal with it like an adult not a fellow 5 year old. This father seriously acted like he himself was in kindergarten. It's so disturbingly emotionally stunted and immature. Not to mention narcissistic, but the narcissism of today's society is a whole other fun topic.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is insane! What adult in his right mind would kid a 5 year old?
The one who thinks his little Johnny is an angel!
Very disturbing

12:06 PM  
Blogger redhair said...

Right on Anon 11:20 AM. Come on parents take some responsibility. To blame it all on the "lack of oversight" is just lame. I do not expect our nanny to hover over my daughter. I do expect her to keep an eye on her. To be near her, but not heliparenting. As for the father who is probably reading this blog now, fuck you for kicking a 5 year old. Can't wait to see how your little shit turns out.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a parent of two with a part-time nanny who frequents Carroll Park Playground. If my nanny came home with this story, I would be disturbed on several levels.

First of all, I find the kicking story hard to believe. If I saw somebody kicking a kid, even if I thought it was his own kid, I would say something. I certainly would have noticed and backed up the caregiver's story. The only person who did was the caregiver's friend. Most suspicious.

Second of all, if my 4 yo ran into the crowded "big kid" section of the playground, I would follow him closely, and I would expect my caregiver to do so as well. This is a reasonable expectation of any caregiver. That section is filled with older kids who are running around and playing like, well, older kids. Younger children should stay out or be closely supervised. Not every situation needs such close supervision, but that one does.

Sadly, I agree with the other poster about the generally low level of care provided by many nannies. The mother of this child should ask her stay-at-home friends or other trusted caregivers how they feel about the care this nanny provides to her child. Even if she thinks the world of her nanny, she should do so. If someone tells me they saw my children with their nanny, I immediately ask what they thought. It's just good practice when you leave your child with a stranger, even one who seems perfect.

Of course, if the kicking story is true, there's a special place in hell for this guy.

2:09 PM  
Blogger brian said...


3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dark secret of every nanny employing parent is that they could never actually admit that they were giving-up some of their own responsibility of guidance and safety for their own children for a cross-your-fingers-hope-the-nanny-is-doing a-good-job approach. It is denial on a massive scale. As a parent who chose to forgo the second salary and it's perks in order to raise a child I can say that, although our lifestyle is very much more modest, we could not fathom handing over our responsibilities let alone safety to a stranger. It's definitely, without question worth the second salary in spades.

7:44 PM  

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