First off, we have the Detroit Free Press contribution to the Freaky Friday News Round-up: on Monday a tow truck driver heading down Van Dyke at dusk found a naked man deliriously wandering along Forest Lawn Cemetery. Witnesses later reported having seen the man jump from a second-story window on Almont. When police arrived they discovered the naked man had also recently lost his tongue. Some officers opined the tongue had been cut out, others that the man had bitten it off in the fall. No tongue was found at the scene.

The Detroit News contribution is significantly less freaky, reporting that a nice man was not a kidnapper. On the same day that the toungless naked man was wandering Detroit’s east side, a father driving past his daughter’s school noticed his kid out in the play yard with her class, and stopped to wave to the girl. A fellow student saw this and reported “a man motioned to her . . . then fled in his vehicle as she ran to tell teachers.” This initiated a five-county mobilization of police forces, searching for the threatening-waver and his blue truck.

The manhunt was eventually called off when the father saw a news report indicating that he was suspected of being a would-be kidnapper, at which time he contacted his daughter’s principal, who explained the confusion to the police.

Stanczyk [the girl’s principal] said the girl who made the report did everything she was taught.

“It proves that we have a plan and it works,” Stanczyk said.

“In this situation, it is better to be safe than sorry.”

Does this plan work? Is a well-meaning and loving father being hunted down as a kidnapper a small price to pay for child safety? Is this a good use of police resources?

At the risk of sounding like I’m not “thinking of the children,” it might be time for logic and numbers to intrude:

There are 70 million children in the United States; in 1999 58,200 children were abducted by nonfamily members. Only 151 of these abductions were long-term and ultimately labeled “stereotypical kidnappings.” For comparison, in 2005 152,400 children were injured by toys, 20 resulting in death.

In other words, a child is almost three-times more likely to be hurt by a toy than snatched by a stranger. Tragically, children are not taught any sort of “Wayward Toy Defense Plan,” nor are police resources in five counties put on high alert when a Polly Pocket Playset is discovered on a school playground.

Finally why does a little girl seeing a man wave warrant an APB in five counties, while the toungless guy can’t even get a flatfoot in latex gloves with a bag of ice to go looking for his licker?

Dave-o is an occasional contributor to the Hugs vid-cast. He unabashedly supports Poor Mojo’s Newswire, a blog of merit since 1905 — now available electronically!

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