A Georgia couple whose Black babysitter was followed and harassed by a woman over the weekend said their kids were “scared” when the stranger reported their caretaker to police.
Dana Mango and David Parker of East Cobb, Georgia said they were in complete disbelief when an officer called Sunday to verify that Corey Lewis, a youth mentor and friend of the family, was given permission to look after their children that day.
“We were at dinner, and I saw that Mr. Lewis had called,” Mango told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “I called back and a police officer answered the phone. The officer was trying to explain that he was there with my kids and that they were okay, but he wanted to confirm that I had given permission to Mr. Lewis to be with them.”
“It truly took me several minutes to believe that it was real,” Mango added. “I was just in a state of disbelief.”
The drama unfolded when Lewis said he was approached by a strange woman who watched as he led 10-year-old Addison and 6-year-old Nicholas back to his car after leaving a local Walmart. He said the woman pulled up to his vehicle and asked if the children were alright, to which he replied, “Why wouldn’t they be okay?.”
Lewis said the woman shrugged and drove away, only to return moments later asking to speak to the kids. When Lewis refused, he said the woman began stalking him, following them out of the Walmart parking lot, to the gas station and all the way to Lewis’ home.
Lewis, 26, detailed the harrowing encounter in a series of Facebook Live videos.
When the caretaker and the children arrived at Lewis’ home, a Cobb County police officer arrived soon after in response to the stranger’s 911 call. That’s when the officer phoned Mango and Parker.
“The officer was actually apologetic,” Mango recalled. “I think he was embarrassed. He saw what was happening pretty quickly, and after he spoke to me and confirmed that everything was all right, he let them go.”
The couple said their children were scared for Lewis as the officer questioned him. Mango said they were afraid “they might say the wrong thing” and cause their babysitter to be arrested.
“After this ordeal on Sunday night the first thing the kids asked was, ‘When can he come babysit us again,'” their mother told “GMA.”
In an interview with Atlanta’s CBS46, the couple said they had arranged for Lewis to look after their kids three weeks ago. They said Lewis is considered family and is well-known in the community for his work with children. In fact, their son is an attendee of Lewis’ youth mentoring program, “Inspired by Lewis.”
Parker dubbed the ordeal an incident of “babysitting while Black.”