I was in Ohio at a Wal Mart with a colleague. A child, perhaps five years old was standing with his back to me – his parents were a couple of feet away. The child obviously misestimated their location, because he put his arms behind his back and around my legs, evidently taking me for his father or some such. I gently disentangled myself – and when he looked around and saw who I was, the child recoiled. I smiled at the child and tried to pat him on his cheek. This action got me a horrified reaction from my colleague who had spent enough time in the US to know that a man never ever does such things to a child unless he is a glutton for a child abuse lawsuit.
I was reminded of the incident when I read this rather saddening article.