An Australian man, who snapped a selfie for his children in front of a Star Wars display, was falsely accused of being a “creep” by a mother who thought he was taking pictures of her children.
The man was reportedly shopping at the Westfield Knox shopping center in Melbourne when he happened upon a Star Wars display and decided to send a photo to his three teenaged children as a joke.
“I have never even taken a selfie before,” the man, who chose to remain anonymous, told the Herald Sun. “There were some children there and I thought they were waiting to have a look at the display and I said to them ‘kids, I won’t be a second, I’m just taking a selfie to send to my children.’ There was no other adult around at the time.” The man said his children are fans of the Star Wars films, and he thought the selfie would be a good “dad joke.”
Later, while in a business meeting, the man said his phone began ringing constantly.
“I finally called someone back and was told my photo was online and I had been called a creep," he said.
According to reports, the mother of the children the man spoke to mistakenly thought he was taking photos of her children. She posted a photo of the man with his phone in hand, and explained what she believed had taken place.
“Ok people, take a look at this creep,” the mother wrote. She said that the man approached her children while they were in the clothing section of a Target store and began talking to them.
“He said 'hey kids' they looked up and he took a photo, then he said I'm sending this to a 16 yr old,” she wrote. “Centre management were straight onto and so are the police, hopefully he is caught [sic]. Police said if he is a registered sex offender he will be charged, this happened at Knox, be safe with your kids.”
The man said he was shocked by what he learned had happened after taking the innocent selfie.
“I felt sick. I am so embarrassed and devastated,” he said.
He immediately went to police and explained the situation, which prompted an investigation.
“That’s more than what the woman did who posted my photo without any investigation or course of natural justice,” he said. “I understand that in the woman’s mind she was doing the right thing by her children but she has caused a lot of problems now for me. People need to get their information from proper news sources rather than rely on drama queens who share things without thought on Facebook."
A family friend said the father was devastated and severely affected by the ordeal, as were his children.
“The guy has a family and his own children, he sent the selfie to his children because he was being a daggy [sic] dad,” the friend told the Daily Mail. “The only reason he was shopping was to buy his partner a birthday present. The selfie was an innocent joke between him and his kids because the new Star Wars is coming out and the fact that they love the movies.
The friend also called on the mother to apologize for the harm she caused.
“No matter what happens in the future this man has been impacted by her actions - I bet the story of his innocence does not reach the numbers that her original post met - her sharing a public apology would go some way to ease the hurt that a whole of number of people are feeling as a result of this incident,” the friend said. “There has [sic] been huge ramifications for a family and a man's reputation as a result of her post.”
Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk