‘Stranger danger’ incident has Raytown parents on edge

RAYTOWN, Mo. -- “In 20 seconds, ten years of comfort can be ripped away from you,” said Adam Sommer, a father of three.

After more than a decade living in a Raytown neighborhood, one metro family is scared for their safety.

Police said Sommer reported seeing a suspicious man approach his five-year-old daughter, and then quickly get into a nearby car driven by another person and speed away when the stranger saw that the father was watching.

Sommer spoke with FOX4’s Melissa Stern about the "stranger danger" incident that left him extremely concerned.

The incident happened on Friday around 5:45 p.m. right outside their home near 73rd and Hedges Avenue.

Adam said that he was in the garage with his 6-year-old son while his two daughters, ages 4 and 5, were riding scooters on the sidewalk near the edge of the driveway. Adam said he heard a man’s voice offering to show the 5-year-old girl something.

“My son was in the garage with me, and my two girls were out front riding their scooters on the sidewalk,” Sommer said.

Sommer, his wife and three kids live in Raytown near 73rd and Hedges. Friday just before 6 p.m. something happened that made his heart skip a beat.

“I stepped outside to see what was going on, take a look, and a tall, skinny, white, male was walking away from me at a pretty good pace,” Sommer recalled.

Sommer said the man was wearing a hoodie and sunglasses and crossed the street to a silver Volvo where a woman was in the driver’s seat.

“I made it down to the end of the driveway, about that time he climbed into that silver Volvo, lots of dents along the driver’s side, and I had never seen the car before, so when they drove by I was trying to get the license plate number, but it did not have a license plate,” Sommer explained.

That’s when he got nervous.

“The way he was walking, the way he was acting, the way they drove away. Red flags,” Sommer said.

He followed the car to the end of the street, and tried to get as much information on it as he could.

“My middle daughter, the five-year-old, said, 'yeah, he talked to me. He had a shiny rock in his hand,'" Sommer recalled his daughter saying. "That’s when I really kind of lost it."

He ran his kids inside, told his wife what happened, then hopped in his truck to drive around the neighborhood and look for them, but he couldn’t find them. He then called police and filed a report.

“Once she said, 'yeah, he talked to me,' I went into dad mode. I wanted to talk to him, and tell him how disgruntled I was with him approaching my daughter,” Sommer said.

While they’ve had the stranger danger conversation in the past, he said this has reinforced the message, so he and his wife sat their kids down and discussed it.

“We’ve touched on it in the past. You don’t have a situation like this to use as a learning tool, you don’t want a situation like this to use as a learning tool,” Sommer added. “She said he was just trying to be nice, and you have to explain to a five-year-old that there’s evil out there in the world.”

A spokesman for Raytown police said they questioned the female believed to be the one driving the car, and she provided them with information. The spokesman said they are trying to locate him now.

The Sommer family is asking everyone to keep an eye out.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS hotline (816) 474-TIPS.