Man Makes Huge Mistake Picking Up Friend's Child From School & Gets Arrested for It

Say What!? 54

school pick upHow's this for a lesson in stranger danger? A man went to pick up his friend's daughter from elementary school and ended up with the wrong girl. When Art Deaner tried taking the kid back to school to straighten the whole thing out, cops placed him under arrest!

The whole mess has since been straightened out, and Deaner has been cleared of any wrongdoing. But there's a lesson in the pick-up fiasco for every parent out there. Whoever you're sending to pick your kids up from school, make sure it's someone your child knows! And for goodness sake, teach them not to get in the car with a stranger. You never know what could happen ... to the stranger.

Apparently the problem came down to kids with the same names. Deaner was supposed to pick up a little girl named Courtney Fetters. He's friends with Fetters' dad, and he was doing him a solid. So when he rolled up to the school and saw a little girl waiting for a ride, he asked if she was Courtney. As it happened, it was Courtney ... Courtney Durr. Durr was also expecting a friend of a parent (in this case her mom) to pick her up from school, so she thought nothing of hopping in the car.

You can pretty much guess how it went from there. Deaner thought he had the right kid, but when he realized he had the wrong one, he did the right thing and brought her back to school.

It's the kind of story that keeps moms like me up at night. I've taught my daughter about stranger danger who knows how many times, but does it sink in? When push comes to shove, will she remember?

I know some parents pull the "I'm always there for my kid" card with situations like this, but let's just turn off the sanctimony for a minute. Stuff happens! There may come a time when you have to send someone else to pick up your child because, who knows? Maybe you're at the hospital after an accident or you are so sick you can barely get out of bed (and please, if you are, don't drive!).

That's when our training matters.

I can't fault this guy here at all for picking up the wrong kid. He checked on her name, they weren't that far apart in age (the Fetters girl is 6, the Durr girl is 9), and some people just aren't very good with details. There's a running joke in my family that every woman on earth is 5'8" with brown hair because my father is pretty fuzzy on descriptions.

The child, on the other hand, even though she's just a kid, should have been trained not to get in that car. Even though that man knew her name, he was still a stranger.

I've tried to make it a little easier on my daughter by telling her not just who can't pick her up from some place (be it school or a playdate), but who can. Should an emergency arise, she knows that a select few people have my permission to take her somewhere. Anyone else tries, and she knows to say no, find a responsible adult, and call me immediately.

At least, I think she knows. I'm going to have to ask her again tonight!

Are you going to go over stranger danger with your kids again after this? What have you done to ensure your kid wouldn't get into a stranger's car?


Image via BotheredbyBees/Flickr

elementary school, independence, safety


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tuffy... tuffymama

What a nightmare. The current (seemingly nationwide) cop policy of arrest/taser/shoot first, find out WTF really happened later (usually so they can try to cover it up), really sucks. Cops suck, period.

miche... micheledo

My parents had a 'password' for us and for anyone that would pick us up (that wasn't them).  They never used it, and that's a good thing, because they couldn't remember the word.  :D  My siblings and I remembered it though.

Guess it's a good plan - but pick something you will all remember!

tuffy... tuffymama

We had a password, too, Michele! It's a good idea, still.

Panda86 Panda86

I had a password growing up too and now me and my kids, 5 and 7, have one..  It's a great idea! Definitely would have prevented this mishap...and the possibility of what could have happened.

nonmember avatar Rachel

That's such a good idea micheledo and tuffymama! Quite ingenious, actually - simple yet effective.

nonmember avatar Christie

We had a password too!

nonmember avatar Lilac

I fault the parents. My child would never not know what a friend of mine who would be picking them up looks like. That's just crazy! Stuff like this happens at least he was a good guy taking her back to the school this could have ended alot differently. Parents protect your kids, make sure they know the person who is picking them up and have passwords.

GlowW... GlowWorm889

I think it's odd that the friend didn't know what the child looked like and that the child didn't know the friend picking her up. O.o

Vegeta Vegeta

Completely unrelated (as I forgot the comment I was going to write). To tuffymama, I always love reading your comments, your always analytical and level headed and say exactly what I was planning on saying. But the 'cops suck period' just made me so sad that you of all people said it. There are bad cops, I've seen them in action and on occasion threw up due to an anxiety attacks caused by them. But my dad was a cop for 30 years and him and his friend-coworkers are some of the greatest people and officers you'll ever meet. It's really hard for cops today because they're damned if they do they're jobs and damned if they don't.

Vegeta Vegeta

Continued They say or do ANYTHING and its taken out of context immediately and they're sued or fired. They're human beings too trapped between protocol and angry people. Sometimes the protocol sucks and they probably don't wana arrest that guy but if they didn't what happens if thats the policy and the other Courtneys mom finds out the school did NOTHING when a student was taken by a stranger? The school, the police, the guy, the city, the pope EVERYONES getting sued. Arrested doesn't mean thrown in jail. It just means you can't go anywhere until the police decide what to do. For instance (im a security guard at the mall, who people hate more than cops) we have a no dog policy, that Ithink is stupid. But if I don't tell a patron with a dog that it can't be in the mall and it bites someone or messes the rug I'll be in serious trouble and the mall will be sued probably (as its happened before) if I do tell the patron the policy I usually get bitched at. So it's a lose lose situation. That's how the police feel all the time. They have to walk on eggshells constantly.

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