Edmonton Dad Catches Man Filming Son In Public Washroom, Child Porn Charges Laid

Theatre Incident - Child Porn Charges Laid
27 May 2016

How far would you go if you had an unsettling feeling that a stranger had filmed a video recording of your child (as they urinated) in a public washroom, and you were close enough to confront them right after it happened?

One Edmonton man found out exactly how far he would go this past Sunday afternoon while at the Scotiabank Theatre at West Edmonton Mall. The Edmonton Global News report brought forth a flood of reactions on social media from people who are understandably shocked and concerned that this happened; there is an outpouring of support for the family. Not unexpectedly, comments on the Edmonton CRIME Report Community Page on Facebook, for example, commend the actions of the parents who did what they felt necessary.

The young boy's dad who spotted this horrific situation as it transpired immediately took matters into his own hands, when he clearly couldn't drop the strong suspicion that a total stranger had just shot a cell phone video clip of his son, who was using the urinal.

Ashley Jackson, a witness to the scene that unfolded before her eyes stated that the man had been in the same movie showing as the young boy. "They were kind of having a little bit of a confrontation and he (the father) kept asking 'can I just see what's on your phone? The father kept putting up his hands and saying 'No, I need to see what's on your phone- I think I saw you take a video.'"

Can you imagine how stunned a parent would feel—the horror going through dad's mind as he confronted the man who videotaped his child? In that moment, the only thing going through his mind must have been to get to that video recording, to be able to protect his son by proving that what he saw had unfortunately been true.

Jackson also stated "Then the father of the boy kept saying to his wife 'Well, what's on the phone did you find anything?' And the mother goes 'I'm still looking, I'm still looking' and then after a couple of seconds, you kind of hear her let out this scream and that's when she said that she found the video of her son going to the bathroom. … I won't be able to forget that."

How would the boy's mother have felt, finding such a video on a stranger's phone? From the sounds of it, the mother was very deeply affected by this traumatizing event, and any mother would easily empathize with her.

How will all of this affect the boy that it happened to? What started out as a fun family outing watching the new Angry Birds movie, turned into a nightmare.

It may not have been an isolated incident, in an interview with Global News, Staff Sgt. Paul Czerwonka with the Zebra Child Protection Centre stated "This happens more than people believe it happens. These people come from all levels of society. They're not the typical ones that you may presume would be obvious to you."

Czerwonka clarified that usually people know their offenders, and that he would say less than 5% of their files are stranger offenders.

Nevertheless, he cautioned,"Bathrooms are an area where there's public access and these individuals watch where kids are going to be."

Because of the dad's sharp intuition, and his instant reaction to the incident, the man was caught: Edmonton police stated on Wednesday that 41-year-old Aaron Voon has been charged with possession of child pornography, making child pornography and voyeurism.

This story leads to numerous questions, though. How can parents keep their children more safe in a public setting? What sort of protocol is in place for an event such as this, at various venues? Was it a good idea or not, for the dad to intervene? What do you think? Discuss your thoughts and ideas here! With input from our Bargainmoose readers, we may discover some helpful hints and tips for parents that can be put to use.

TOPICS:   Parenting

13 comments

  • boscotung

    This is indeed sad and horrifying, but...why is it on a site like bargain moose?

    • dilbert1977

      Why shouldn't it be on this site? Parents are on this this site several times a day, and reading this story will allow many to think about revisiting the stranger danger talks with their kids, and perhaps make some more aware of their surroundings.

      • Mommaof2

        This is the first time I heard about this incident (I live just outside of toronto) and  I am glad I found it....I will be sharing this story with my husband and it will certainly open up a discussion with us and our young daughters... I had also recently read an article that recommends that we change our vocabulary from "stranger danger" to Tricky People.....I idea that is based on the fact that was mentioned in the article stating that the victims often know their offender/attacker.... this way our children learn to speak up about something that does not seem right o them regardless of who the person is, stranger or not....thank you for sharing this article!!

        • Eryn N. EDITOR

          Thank you for your comments and insight, Mommaof2! You bring forth excellent points to this discussion with your following comment:

          "I had also recently read an article that recommends that we change our vocabulary from "stranger danger" to Tricky People..... idea that is based on the fact that was mentioned in the article stating that the victims often know their offender/attacker.... this way our children learn to speak up about something that does not seem right to them regardless of who the person is, stranger or not." 

          Certainly it makes  a lot of sense that we should make it clear to our children that they also need to pay heed to people they may even know, who may be 'Tricky People.' Your comment is also spot on about letting children know that any time they want to speak up about something that doesn't seem right to them, that it may be discussed! Thanks for sharing.

  • Eryn N. EDITOR

    Thank you for your comment! I understand the majority of our website relates to bargains, so your question was certainly a good one! Occasionally at Bargainmoose, we feature articles of interest to parents, and this is a story that we believe will open up a discussion for parents to provide feedback for each other on helpful safety tips for their children. Even though the man in this news story was apprehended, as Sgt. Paul Czerwonka with the Zebra Child Protection Centre said, it happens more than people believe it happens. Additionally, perhaps public venues may wish to revisit their standard safety protocols to consider ways they can keep the public safe, especially children!

  • Angela

    Sometimes my 6 yr old wants to go to the men's room on his own and part of me wants to encourage his independence and the other part is concerned about things like this.  If that had been my husband apprehending the guy, he would have slapped the spit out of his mouth.  This does happen quite a bit however in all sorts of public places.  There was a man in North Vancouver who would videotape girls' gymnastic meets, zeroing in on their crotches.  He was eventually arrested but it took quite a while.  And guess what, he didn't go to jail.  

    • Eryn N. EDITOR

       Thank you for your comments, Angela. That is such a sad story that you shared, as well,  Re: The gymnastic meets.

      This reminds me of the sentiment, "It takes a village to raise a child." So true in this case that you presented. It can be difficult for the village to spot this person, but - thankfully, often times, they do. 

      Hopefully some of our Bargainmoose readers can offer up suggestions for your 6-year-old - how he may achieve independence, yet also be aware of his surroundings. ??

  • Laurie K.

    The filmer would be dead...that simple

  • Stephanie L.

    He handled it a lot calmer than I would have had

  • Marilyn H.

    So friggin sick

  • reenie

    I whole heartedly agree with the dad. We should stop questioning whether or not parents have the right to defend their children. The fact that a grown adult was taking pictures or videos in a public bathroom with a child in it would be a red flag immediately. If these people are more scared that someone will call them out or worse, then maybe we can deter some of them from trying. 

  • Marlene B.

    The dude would be in pain

  • Katie C.

    There's been so many overreactions in the media lately (turned out the man DID have a child in the playground or he was only taking pictures of a cardboard cutout), I'm just glad they family checked before calling police.

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