To the real mother of the child,
Your child, about 4 years old, was seen walking alone through Brooklyn’s Atlantic Mall, and out towards the subway station below. My wife noticed him and quickly alerted me. I ran over before he made it through the doors and asked him: “Where are your parents?”
He looked confused.
So I asked again: “Who are you here with?”
He motioned with his hand, pointing upwards at the crowd of people who were leaving the mall.
Just then, a middle-aged non-Jewish black woman about 10 ft. up ahead, turned around and snarled at me, “I’m his mother!”
She yanked your child by the hand, out of the mall, and headed in the direction of the subway landing.
I had a moment of disbelief, and then came shock and horror. I was reminded of the chilling events of last July when Leiby Kletzky was walking just a short few blocks, home from camp. I was reminded of what took place last August when Gloria Suarez, a maid hired by the Chayempour family of Great Neck, abducted their child of 6 months, even making it to a train station, only there to be apprehended.
I thought, “Who is the real mother of this child, and how can she be contacted?”
I got a very cold vibe from the person claiming to be the mother of the child. My wife and I both felt there was something very wrong. “If something is indeed wrong about all this,” I thought, “this woman has to be stopped before she disappears onto a train with that child!”
That’s when I asked the women if she had any form of identification. I could have imagined her loud response even before asking her that question, but when I turned to the 3 police officers who were standing there before the steps, asking them if they could prompt her for some identification, her yelling that she’s the mother of your child had only intensified. The police disregarded my request, and – tugging your child along – she walked right by and down the steps.
Describing to the officers the terrible tragedy the Jewish community faced just one year ago did nothing for my case. Instead they went on with accusatory statements, saying my request was fueled by nothing but racism, simply picking on her because she is black, and that if she says that’s her child, there’s no reason to question her.
I answered back saying that “this ‘so claimed’ mother and the child she’s holding by the hand are clearly from two different communities! Aside from his white complexion and his blonde hair, this boy is definitely the child of religious Jews!” I pointed to his yarmulka, his peyos, and his tzitzis, which clearly identified him as that.
Their ‘racial profiling’ argument continued. As if to prove a point, one of them even asked me how many other people I had stopped in the mall to make sure that the children they were walking with were truly theirs. “She claims to be the mother of this child, and she is clearly not! This is a Jewish child.” I repeated.
My arguments went unanswered and so did my requests. Here, this woman was walking right out of the mall, and they didn’t even see basis to question her or to even ID her. She was holding your child’s hand! The police refused my requests on the basis that your child was not crying.
In all the ruckus created, my wife and I were extremely relieved that your nanny immediately turned around, back into the mall where we found you (at the very opposite end). We hope you can re-examine this event, as the safety of your child is first and foremost.
Please understand the reason for my great concern: your young child was seen walking alone in a very busy, public area with no adult supervision. Your nanny was walking several feet ahead with her back to your child, and I shudder to think what could have happened and she wouldn’t have even noticed.
In addition, your nanny claiming to be the mother of your child can create a very scary problem. Had she answered me truthfully that she is the child’s nanny, and not be insisting (and even becoming defensive about it) that she’s the mother, this would have not created the scene that it did.
An aware community member