Source: Shutterstock

Dad Is Distracted by Phone – Moments Later Realizes Little Daughter Has Vanished from the Playground

Stephen Thompson
Feb 09, 2022
11:00 P.M.
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Last year, a father experienced every parent's fear when he realized his 3 1/2-year-old daughter was missing. Shortly after, he turned to answer a phone call. Find out what he did afterward.


To date, parenting is considered one of the most rewarding jobs globally. However, many people's parenting journeys have been filled with unpleasant experiences, including the death of a child/children and their kids going missing.

In 2021, Redditor Warm_Tzatziki took to parenting — a favorite subreddit where the ins and out/ups and downs of parenting are discussed — to talk about an incident he experienced with his 3 1/2-year-old daughter and a stranger.

A man lost track of his daughter at a playground. | Photo: Shutterstock


The Original Poster (OP) was spending father and daughter time with his daughter, Elsa, on a playground. For a moment, he took his eyes off his little girl to discuss with someone from work over the phone.

However, when he was done, he turned back and could not believe his eyes: his daughter was nowhere to be found. The girl had been in a sandbox three minutes prior, so disappearing was not something OP had expected.

Immediately, the father was thrown into a frenzy and began searching for Elsa. OP asked strangers about his daughter's whereabouts, and one of them gave him hope. 

OP and his daughter were at the playground. | Photo: Getty Images


The man said he saw the little girl going in a certain direction. As soon as OP looked in that direction, he was shocked. It was a little forest next to the playground, so the father was scared to death.

Several times, he had told his daughter to avoid strangers, but this time, she did not listen. Within seconds, OP was headed in the direction the stranger pointed to.

When he finally entered the forest, he saw Elsa with a young man in his twenties. Without hesitation, the father rushed towards the young man and began yelling, asking what he was doing with his daughter.

OP was worried when he couldn't find his daughter Elsa.| Photo: Getty Images


In response, the stranger said he wanted to show OP's daughter a rabbit hole. Filled with so much rage, OP hit the young man.

OP admitted it was the most violent thing he had ever done and he felt very ashamed after. He hit the stranger with so much impact that the man landed on the floor, unconscious.

Not long after, OP called the police, who arrived a few minutes later. He also tried to explain the situation to his little daughter, who was already traumatized by the events that had transpired before her. 

OP went into the forest to find his daughter. | Photo: Getty Images


The police transported OP and the stranger to the police station in different vehicles. OP's three-and-a-half-year-old daughter was taken home by her mother while the men in the station tried to settle things amicably.

In the end, OP was informed that he would be charged with assault, most likely to be considered as self-defense.

Although OP had to go to court, he cared more about explaining the situation to his daughter, who was already scared of him. So he sought advice and encouragement from Reddit users, who did not hesitate to give some. A user commented:

"You did the right thing. No way a 20 year old doesn't know this is wrong on many levels. Deal with the consequences later; he needs to be on the police radar...


OP was informed he would be charged in court. | Photo: Pexels

Redditor Qualityhams wrote: "I wouldn't coach your daughter that you did a bad thing. She should feel that it's okay to defend herself and others physically if the situation depends on it..."


After the comments poured in, OP expressed his gratitude by saying:

"I'm overwhelmed with all the replies. Thank you all, especially that most were very comforting! Got so many great advices! Will use them for sure."

OP said the incident was captured on CCTV, and it was unlikely for any charges to be pressed. However, the stranger certainly broke the law by luring a child away without permission.

OP took a short break from work to spend more time with his family, especially his daughter. Eventually, it worked, and everything returned to normal. 

OP took a break from work and things normalized with his daughter. | Photo: Getty Images


Questions to Ponder

Do you think OP's decision to hit the stranger was justified?

OP tried to protect his child, however, he felt ashamed of his actions and wished he did not act violently. It is important to note that hitting a person is not right irrespective of the situation. We need to call the police if one is a victim of violence.

Do you think OP should have been charged with assault since his actions left the stranger unconscious?

It is very important to note that there are consequences that come with assaulting others. For instance, the victim may decide to charge the perpetrator to court. Do you believe OP should be charged?

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