Man offered candy to children in Ormond Beach, deputies say

Parents warn children to be on the lookout

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – The Smith family always believed their neighborhood was quiet and safe, until Sunday morning.

Deputies are now investigating a man who they said approached the Smith's 8-year-old boy and his two friends, although deputies said no physical attempt was made to abduct the children.

"Our son stayed up most of the night having nightmares," mother Jennifer Smith said.

Nightmares about a man with a blonde goatee who Jennifer Smith said tried kidnapping the boys.

"The babysitter went into the restroom. The kids were playing right out there. She was gone less than five seconds," she said.

But, within those five seconds, Smith said the older man in a pickup with a ladder rack, pulled up to the children at the Shady Oaks Mobile Home community.

"He offered them candy if they would get in the vehicle. My son says, 'Stranger danger,'"  father Thomas Smith said.

The children took off running to their homes.

"I took off after the guy, running down the road and it was a bad deal," Thomas Smith said.

The Smiths called 911 and filed a police report.

Composite sketch.

"I ain't never been so scared in my life," Jennifer Smith said.

The parents are now warning others to be on the lookout.

"We are praying that this didn't happen before with this man, or before they can catch him, that he don't abduct a child," Jennifer Smith said.

 "God help that man if he comes back in here," said Thomas Smith.

The family told News 6 that management will also be installing security cameras around the property.

Deputies said Wednesday that they are attempting to locate the man involved in the incident but at this point there is no indication that a crime was committed if, in fact, all he did was offer the children candy.

About the Author:

Loren Korn

Loren Korn is a native Texan who joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2014. She was born and raised in Houston and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Journalism.

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