WATCH: A Victoria father believes a man tried to lure his eight-year-old stepson online, so he arranged to meet the man himself.
Timothy Duggan believes a man tried to lure his eight-year-old stepson through an online game called Roblox.
He says his other, older stepson saw months worth of chats between the pair and brought it to Duggan’s attention.
Duggan says the other player wanted to meet. So he reported the chats to police then pretended to be his stepson.
Duggan arranged a meeting in downtown Victoria and brought along two of his friends.
“He said he was only in town til Tuesday. So I figured, we’d better make a move on this,” Duggan said. “At this point, we still didn’t have a name, we didn’t have a face or anything. We actually met up with him to find a face and find a name if possible. But when we asked him about it, he turned around and ran.”
After following the man to the Johnson Street Bridge, Duggan’s friend shot a short video (included in the story above). He says it shows the man running away after being confronted.
Darren Laur, a former police officer who owns the online safety company, The White Hatter, warns other parents against taking things into their own hands.
“By you confronting this individual, you may be involving yourself in a situation where the police are already involved, you don’t know about it, [and] now you’ve just ruined a half million dollar police investigation that just took place,” Laur said.
We also asked Victoria police about the incident.
Const. Matt Rutherford told CHEK News in an email, “We can’t confirm or deny the existence of potential on-going investigations… We’re only able to comment in such circumstances where doing so is in the public interest.”
In the meantime, Duggan says his message to other parents is to watch their children more carefully.
“My children don’t get much time away from us on online gaming, and even a little bit was enough,” he said. “I thought I was diligent enough, but obviously not diligent enough.”