View Full Version : Help! Any police experts out there?

08-17-2011, 05:25 PM
Here's the scenario:

My MC is a 10 yr old autistic girl who can't speak. A man is stalking her. He follows her, lingers around the edges of her family's property, and yells menacing things at her. One time, he grabbed her and pulled her toward his car, but when another character confronted him (they only saw him with his hand around the girl's arm), he said he found the girl wandering around and was bringing her back to them. Since my MC can't speak, she can't tell anyone what really happened.

So I have two questions:

1) Could MC's mother obtain a restraining order?
2) How would the police handle it if the MC & villian run into each other in public & he makes menacing statements to her?

Thank you so much!

08-17-2011, 05:53 PM
The laws differ from state to state, but in MA, here's the gist of it.

To get an HPO (harassment prevention order) or a restraining order (they're very very similar), you need to prove there have been three separate occasions where this person was a threat in some way.

This could be verbal abuse, physical abuse, or stalking would definitely apply here as well.

However, when a child's involved, I don't know if the laws differ. My immediate inclination is to believe that the police would become more involved a lot sooner, especially since this guy sounds like a kidnapper.

If her parents have proof or a witness of the guy with his hand on the girl's arm, that would count as one instance of threatening behavior. If there are other instances of him stalking the house or yelling something at her where there are witnesses or proof, these would count as additional instances.

Again, three of these, and you have your HPO/restraining order. I'd be willing to bet that a parent can obtain one of these on behalf of a child. Check custody battles, I'm sure there are instances of this happening in such situations.

To answer your second question: it would depend. Does a policeman witness this? If so, he'd probably detain the guy for threatening a child. If someone else witnesses this, there may not be much they can do but visit the villian and question him/tell him to cut it out.

Hope this helps!

08-17-2011, 05:57 PM
Thank you! That helps a lot!