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pottstown pennsylvania, kidnappers, stranger danger

Pennsylvania's State Route 100.

A quick-thinking 10-year-old boy escaped a woman trying to lure him by pretending that a local store clerk was his mother. ABC 6 reports that Sammy Green was walking home from school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, on Friday, November 11, when a strange woman started following him.

The woman "started walking with him and asking him where his family was, asking where his dad was," Sam Green, the boy's father, told ABC6. The boy didn’t know the woman but she insisted that she knew his family.

She tried to lure him into going with her by promising she’d buy him “anything he wanted” at Wawa, a local convenience store that sells shakes, sandwiches and other treats.

"She was like, 'I'm going to Wawa, are you going there? What are you getting from Wawa? Where's your family at?'" Sammy told CBS.


"She said she probably knew me and was going to Wawa and that he was supposed to go with her and he could get anything he wanted," Sam Green said.

In an attempt to flee the suspicious woman, Sammy walked into Dani Bee Funky, an unconventional gift shop, where he went straight to 17-year-old Hannah who was working the register. "He was like, 'Pretend like you're my mom,'" Hannah told CBS, "and I was just like, 'all right go to the back.' He didn't want to leave my side."

Security footage shows that Hannah then calmly walked up to the store’s front door and locked it, preventing the woman from coming inside. After she was locked out, the woman walked away. "I was still shaking when I was in here," Sammy said.

The security camera footage is hard for Sammy's dad to watch. "When we were watching that video, I cried every time I saw it," said Green.

The shop’s owner has nothing but praise for Hannah’s calm way of handling the dangerous situation. "I am very proud of her. Hannah is a 17-year-old young lady. She did everything correctly," Small said.

This story is a great reminder for parents to talk to their kids about what to do if they are approached by a suspicious person. The first thing they should know is that it’s OK to say “No!” as loudly as possible to a suspicious person. They should then scream, “Help! This is not my mom or my dad!” to alert the adults around them and then run. If they are grabbed by the person they should bite, punch and kick as hard as they can until they can get free.

Sammy’s dad is proud that his son remembered what he told him to do when confronted by a suspicious stranger. "Think of every scenario and make sure that children know and also practice it," he reminded parents. "Practice your situations and scenarios just like fire drills."

For the time being, Sammy is going to have a family friend walk him to and from school. The Pottstown Police have spoken with the woman and she is now getting help for mental health issues.

Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

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