It Takes a Village: 5-Year-Old Raped At Fast Food Playland; Where Were the Grown Ups?

November 14, 2011  |  

Not that McDonald’s colorful Playland area is supposed to be the safest place on earth, but there’s something incredibly sad about knowing that something meant to let children be free to frolic and be innocent can be used as a grounds for predators. But then again, with some parents preoccupied with phone conversations and overly-big Big Macs sometimes and no one to watch who comes in and out, I guess it makes sense that these areas would be a predator’s own playground.

A young girl and her grandmother learned that the hard way at a McDonald’s near downtown Cincinnati on Oct. 29. While playing in the Playland area, the 5-year-old girl was approached by a young man around the ages of 12 to 15 who “digitally” assaulted her (as in using digits or fingers in case you weren’t sure) and then forced the girl to do the same to him anally. The child’s grandmother said that she knew something was wrong when the little girl came back to her looking especially upset as the Playland was preparing to close. She later told the police that she saw the young man leaving the Playland, but before she could figure out that he had done something (and shouldn’t have been that old in the freaking Playland in the first place), he had already left. The young man, once again, is said to be between the ages of 12 and 15, white, with black hair and blue eyes, wearing light blue jeans, a gray long-sleeve T-shirt and a jacket. The franchise owner and employees of this McDonald’s (in Anderson Township) are said to be fully cooperating with police.

How horrific for both the child and her grandmother. I can’t imagine the confusion and fear going through that young girl’s mind while she was being sexually assaulted by someone more than double her age. I also can’t imagine where in the hot hell her grandmother was. Playland areas, whether at McDonald’s or the open outdoor park, are obviously not the end all to be all of safety. No matter where you take children, whether they are your offspring, your grandchildren, your nieces, your nephews or a friend’s baby, children have to be watched at all times somebody. Call me overprotective, but I don’t see how this could have happened if this child’s grandmother had been walking around watching her slide through tubes and scamper around. Children are soooo easily influenced. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched my niece try and play with some random kids she met while trying to get through a tube at Chuck E. Cheese. For this young man to have enough time to penetrate the child and have her do the same to him, there was clearly not enough adults around watching the Playland and the kids in it.  And aside from these horrific assaults, children can get hurt playing around in those tight spaces with other kids. In the end, she was five, not 10. There was no reason she should have been able to run into the Playland and not been supervised by at least one person.

I’m not trying to say that it’s all her grandmother’s fault (apologies if it even sounds like that). You can also ask why doesn’t McDonald’s have employees watching the kids in the Playland too? I’m not talking some big, burly security guard, but just an employee to ensure there is no rough housing or that people who probably shouldn’t have the ability to play with such small children (like a 130 pound 12 to 15-year-old for example) can’t. Fingers could be pointed for days, but in the end, I’m really just trying to say that we all need to be more attentive out here these days. I can only hope that others can take this incident as an example of why all eyes should stay open when it comes to the protection of children. Even it wasn’t her grandmother, or an employee supervising the play area, someone should have been looking out for this child. I know it’s hard enough to watch one child (your own) when you send them off into these recreational areas covered with nets, plastic and cushioned walkways, but any child attacked by a young man like this could have been your child, so it never hurts to keep an eye out for other people’s babies, because you just never know. These days, it literally takes a village to raise and watch out for a child, because things and people have totally changed.

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  • aqquippless2000

    They better find him before i do.

  • Girliusmaximus

    Sickening. All the why’s and coulda-shoulda-wouldas will not erase the little girl’s experience. SMH

  • Dhonesty1

    this is just terrible.. i hope they catch that sick SOB

  • This is disturbing on so many levels. I cannot even imagine having my children out of my line of sight in a public space for that length of time.

  • Lucky

    With all the freaks and predators out there, you have to have your eyes on your babies at all times. We’re living in a sick world and some of these b@$tards just don’t give a damn who they hurt. 

  • Guess

    We live in a society where we expect teachers, coaches, daycare providers, McDonald’s workers and whoever to keep constant watch of our children, but parents dont do the same.  I dont know how many times my friends have complained because their child has been hurt at school or while in the care of a babysitter.  But in return, these parents focus more on facebook and the iPads than there children.  Do not blame McDonald’s.  It was the Grandmother’s duty to watch her grandchild.  She may not have been able to keep total eye contact, but she should’ve been at least a few feet away.  Predators know who to target.

  • I don’t even have kids but I still watch out for them when there’s a group if nothing more to make sure they don’t knock each other the in the head with a ball! NONE of the other people around thought it was weird for a child that old to be there? For this to happen, he had to partially disrobe. How was THAT missed?? I hate to say it but grandma would NEVER take my child anywhere alone again.

  • I’m just saying….

    This is disgusting.  No child is safe. You can’t trust the village to raise your child b/c half them mofos’ are perverts.   That grandmother should have had her eyes on her.  One thing I hate to see is when parents walk in front of their kids. You can’t see nothing going on behind you! My girls are always in my field of view.