By: Leah Uko
OMAHA (KPTM) – Kids are told the saying all the time: "Don't Talk To Strangers". Often, they don't listen. A teenager disregarded this warning and got into a car with a middle-aged man who offered to drive him home.
"Without notifying us or anything," said the teen's foster father, Sherwin Palmer. "As far as we knew, he was on the bus."
The 14-year-old said he usually takes the bus, but on Tuesday, September 24th he decided to walk home from football practice. His house is more than two-miles from South High School where he attends.
He got tired from walking and sat down to take a break near Deer Park Boulevard and Vinton Street. He told Omaha Police that a man in his 30s drove up in a dark green 1990s Ford Explorer or Chevy Blazer and asked if he wanted a ride.
About 4-minutes into the drive, the teen said the man asked him if he ever had a girlfriend or had been given oral sex. The man then pulled over at 32nd and Vinton Street.
"And then asked if he could, you know, yeah do all that nasty stuff," the teen said.
According to the police report, the man asked, "Can I suck your ****?"
The teen told police he told the man he wasn't gay.
"I was like ‘naw', and he was like, ‘well it wouldn't make us gay' and I was like, ‘yeah it would make us both gay'."
He asked to be let out of the car. The man pulled over at 32nd and Oak Street, let him out and drove away.
"I'm so glad he didn't hurt me."
Even though he is 14-years-old, his foster parents said he doesn't have the same fear threshold as other kids because of his background in foster care.
"Strangers are not really strangers because they just automatically have to open up to new people on a regular basis," Palmer said. "So they trust everyone until someone does something that they don't like."
The teen agreed with his father's conclusion and added to it.
"I think I'm just courageous and outgoing and don't really think bad about people that way."
He said this incident didn't change that, but he is going to start being more cautious and on-guard because of the lesson he learned.
"Do not talk to strangers and don't get into cars with random people."
Omaha Public Schools said when Stranger Danger incidents occur, depending on the severity, it will notify parents through massive calls or letters in the mail. OPS District Safety Administrator, Roddie Miller also said OPS will ensure parents that police will be or already have been notified.
She suggested that parents talk to their kids—children and teens—about the Stranger Danger topic and advise them to run as fast as they can in the opposite direction of a stranger who is trying to entice them.
If you would like to know if any sex offenders are registered in your area or your child's school area go to https://sor.nebraska.gov/. On the site you can search for registered sex offenders by name, region or a location 1-3 miles from where you are.
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