Between the story of a 12-year-old boy raped in a Burger King bathroom last week and one this week of a teenager who was caught taking pictures of a 6-year-old in a Toys "R" Us bathroom, my son may never pee alone until he's somewhere in his mid-20s.
This latest case happened in Seattle at the Northgate Toys "R" Us, a store I visited more than a few times when I lived in the area. The 6-year-old boy was with his grandmother, and she seemingly did everything right by poking her head into the restroom to make sure no one was in there. The offender, 18-year-old Lucas D. Trethewey, however, was hiding in a stall, waiting to make his move.
According to a story in the Seattle PI, the boy came running out of the restroom and said a man had poked his head under the stall he was using. He said the man also held a cellphone under the stall and took pictures. Can you even imagine how terrifying that must have been for a 6-year-old?
The boy's grandmother called store security who monitored the bathroom door until police arrived. There they found Trethewey with his pants unzipped. Seattle Police Detective Lauren Givens told the court:
It is clear Trethewey was hiding in the restroom stall at the Toys "R" Us restroom. Trethewey took photos with his cell phone of (the boy) ... in a place where (he) had a reasonable expectation that he would disrobe in privacy.
It wasn't his first offense either. Earlier this year he served seven months in juvenile detention because he had groped a young boy at a gym. Hopefully this recent case will get him locked up and kept away from young children for good.
But as outraged and scared as it makes me for my own children, it also makes me deeply sad. Because as sick and perverted as Trethewey must be to do such things, he's only 18. What happened in his short life to make him do such things? Were horrible things done to him too? He's an adult now and has free choice, so I'd never excuse his actions, but I can't say that I don't feel a little bit sorry for him too.
Do stories like these change the way you let your children use public restrooms?
Image via King County Sheriff's Office