Originally Posted by Walt34
I would've just called 911. No matter what you do, how tactful you are, you're just "some guy" and it's gonna get defensive and ugly and confrontational fast.
No matter how confrontational they get with the police, the police do have state law and if needed a few dozen assistants to back them up. You don't. And everyone knows it.
Pretty much exactly my point. Once you involve the police, the situation can escalate until the resulting mess far outweighs the initial f-up. A confrontation of the "hey, you know if I had been one of the 99% of the ER forum members your kid would be in foster care and you'd be in jail, you might want to use some common sense next time" type isn't likely to result in a shooting or a beating. If the person reacts defensively, just say, "hey, your choice. I was just trying to do you a favor" and walk away. If they're a normal person who made a bad decision they'll do better next time. If they're an idiot they'll get what they deserve.
And as I said previously, if the parent didn't return within 5 minutes I'd make the call. That wouldn't endanger the kid. And it sort of depends on the location. If it's a 7-11 or a day care center I'd wait and confront. If it's a bar, a casino, or a crack house I'd probably just call.
It's not right to be that afraid of people. Not the world I choose to live in.