This recent post in Reddit's TIFU subreddit is a cautionary tale for all dads who take their kids to the park. Needless to say, parents these days are hyper-aware of strangers around their kids in public places, and it's very easy to seem suspicious if you don't seem like you're supervising a child.
And that's exactly what happened. OP explains that he's in Scandinavia. It was a sunny day and so he decided to take his 5-year-old son to the playground. This playground has an artificial river for kids to play in, and it was packed (they don't have the same COVID-19 restrictions that some other countries do).
OP's son was having a great time going off to play with his friends, so OP took this time as the chance to call his mom on FaceTime for their weekly call. This was his error.
He writes, "Fast forward five minutes... I am still having a nice chat, laying down with the sun in my face. Life is good. When suddenly the sun literally got blocked by four or five moms and dads gathering around me, looking absolutely PISSED."
One of the dads says that they called the police. OP gets extremely confused, but soon it becomes clear that they called the cops on him. So he asks what's wrong, and they say, "You are filming our kids without our permission."
Now OP's really confused. He's still on FaceTime with his mom, so he was not paying attention, but at that moment, he looks over toward where it looks like his camera is pointed. "I see a bunch of butt-naked kids running around, while my own kid wandered off to some other part of the playground," he writes.
"I desperately tried to explain what is going on and that I wasn't just filming random kids," he continues. "But I was so stressed that I couldn't find the words (I'm living in this country as a foreigner and don't fully understand the language yet). Honestly, if I were these guys I would be darn skeptical of the situation myself."
By this point, a crowd formed, and OP got up to retrieve his kid. But one of the dads says he can't leave without leaving his phone. So OP decides to stay and tried once again to explain what was going on.
Most of the people believed him, and the crowd dispersed, but there were a few parents who weren't ready to let him go. So they all waited for the police. Fortunately, he writes, the cops were "really chill about it — almost laughing when I explained what was going on."
He showed them his camera roll, which obviously had no improper photos, and they looked at his call history to confirm that he was indeed FaceTiming with his mom at the time.
The accusers apologized, and then OP grabbed his son and their stuff and went home. And that's how he was mistaken as a pedophile in the park. Strangely, several people in the comments had similar stories.
One person who is a cheerleading and dance coach was once approached about "filming girls stretch and warm up" in the park and had to explain that they were their coach. Hey, at least people are looking out for the kids, right?