Tetherball: A Survival Story.

“There was basically a tug-of-war over the granddaughter,” Sgt. Gary Hopping of the Auburn Police Department told The Washington Post.

While the details of this particular story — a tug of war between the kidnapper and the grandfather — are horrific, it’s hard to truly understand how genuinely terrified this child was during this chaotic experience.

4th Grade Class Picture | Del Cerro Elementary | Mission Viejo, CA
Del Cerro Elementary | The quad with the tetherball court, the open field, and the hill, now surrounded by a fence.

I walked home with my friends and when I got home my mom asked, “How was school today? Anything interesting happen?”

Nobody called my parents to tell them that I was kidnapped at school that day. Not the school. Not the police. It was 1970-something, so all’s well that ended well. However, once I finally and quietly spilled the details of my abduction to my shocked mom and dad over dinner, there were some rapidly placed phone calls to the school.



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Derek E. Baird

Derek E. Baird

Chief Youth Officer | Kids & Teen Culture, Content & Community | Kids Privacy | Author “Gen Z Frequency” | Kid/Teen Mental Health + Digital Wellbeing |