Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Demonstration of how easy it is for strangers to lure children

CBS NY In a terrifying wakeup call for parents, a new viral video shot on New York City playgrounds shows just how easily children can be lured.

As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, a viral video shows a child being tricked by a social stranger with a puppy. Initially, creator Joseph Saladino, known on YouTube as “Joey Salads,” said what started out as an idea for a prank video morphed into a social experiment that has gone viral.

Saladino said he always gets permission from the parents first, and then pretends to lure children away with his dog named Donuts as bait.
“How many times a day do you tell your kid not to talk to strangers?” Saladino asks a woman in the video, before telling the woman he is going to do a test and talk to her young daughter and show her the puppy.
The girl appears excited to see the puppy, and Saladino tells the girl, “I’ve got some more puppies – you want to see some more puppies,” and asks to take the girl’s hand and walk away with him.
In the clip, he repeats the experiment twice more – each time with a little boy. And each time, shocked parents watch as their children wander off with a complete stranger and even hold his hand as he tells them: “Want to go see the other puppies? I’ve got a bunch of them – let’s go!”
“I just went over with the puppy and I just made a small convo with the puppy, and they felt comfortable because I had a cute dog,” Saladino said.
Some parents were not surprised. [...]

Parenting expert Erika Katz called Saladino’s work “a really important experiment,” and said parents need to teach children that not all strangers look scary.
“They have to tell them that sometimes, strangers can be really nice and they could be nice looking; they could seem like your friend,” Katz said.
Added Saladino, “The real strangers you’ve got to look out for are normal looking people.” [...]
 Katz said parents also need to avoid their own distractions – put away the cellphone and don’t get lost in a conversation with another parent. Parents are also advised to keep their children in sight


  1. That appears to be a made for Hollywood video. It doesn't appear to be natural or undirected.

  2. O please this is ridiculous. 115 kids a year are abducted by strangers. About 1,000 die in car crashes. This is a "terrifying wake-up call" to those who like being terrified.

  3. a new viral video shot on New York City playgrounds shows just how easily children can be lured.

    Which is why it's fortunate that child abductions by strangers are extremely rare.

  4. Another point: It actualy was not easy for this guy to lure the kids. He was successful only because he got the mothers' permission. Otherwise, he would have been stopped him as soon as the mothers saw him approaching the children. Young children like these are never left alone. They are watched. Older kids would not be susceptible to his puppy shtick.

    Also, the kids may have noticed him talking to their mothers, even peripherally, and assumed he could be trusted. The video is indicative of precisely nothing.

    Separately, I'm amazed at what suckers the mothers were. If some stranger would approach me out of the blue with this kind of lame story, I would send him packing. No way would I let him near my child.

  5. In the context of this video, an excellent response from Lenore Skenazy to a woman who actually was abducted as a child:

  6. Not to mention their were likely upwards of dozens of times he was unsuccessful in his shtick but he took the less than a handful of instances that made the point he was seeking and put them on the video while leaving the overwhelming majority of counter examples completely edited out.

  7. Did you notice the email she quoted wrote "g-d forbid"? Does anyone other than Orthodox Jews shy away from spelling G-d?


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