A mother’s public Facebook post alleging a sex trafficking attempt at a Macon Bacon game has raised concerns among some people about security at the ballpark, which is patrolled by sheriff’s deputies.
Tracy Allen, who is a youth director at Macon’s Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, took a group to Luther Williams Field Friday night.
After 9:15 p.m., her 13-year-old twins and their friend didn’t come back to the stands for several minutes, and she became concerned.
Allen texted one of her daughters, who said she was “talking to a friend.”
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Looking over the top of the stands, Allen saw the three girls speaking to what appeared to be another teen who was looking left and right until he made eye contact with an older man, the post stated.
As Allen called down to the girls, the young man looked up and then disappeared along with the older man.
The girls ran back up to the stands and told Allen that the younger man was asking them questions, and the older man had walked back and forth a few times and at one point fist-bumped the younger man.
“As the girls were telling me all of this and as I witnessed it go down, my heart remained in the pit of my stomach,” Allen wrote on Facebook the next morning. “There is absolutely no doubt in my mind what was about to take place. If you haven’t figured that out yet, I’m talking about sex trafficking.”
Her Facebook post was shared more than 3,000 times by Monday morning, and hundreds of people commented.
Although a couple of commenters were skeptical that the men actually were trying to lure the girls away or scout them for sex trafficking, most of the comments expressed safety concerns.
Tyler Vertin, Macon Bacon director of marketing, told The Telegraph Tuesday that the club typically has Bibb County sheriff’s deputies at the gate, patrolling the stadium and parking lot. On Friday, three uniformed sheriff’s deputies were at the park and another was in the parking lot, team President Todd Pund said.
“We want to make sure everyone feels safe at the ballpark,” Vertin said.
Allen noted in her post that the gates were open in the late innings, which could have allowed anyone to gain entrance to the park.
Vertin said Macon Bacon workers do regularly staff the gates throughout the game, but Friday’s game presented a staffing challenge due to a rain delay at the double-header.
Allen said she reported the incident to a Macon Bacon staff member. There are no security cameras at the county-owned ballpark.
Allen filed an incident report with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday. Sheriff’s public affairs Sgt. Linda Howard confirmed that a report had been filed, but she was not sure whether the case had been assigned to an investigator as of midday Tuesday.
Allen, the daughter of Macon-Bibb County Commissioner Joe Allen, is a trained investigator with the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services and was “very shaken,” her father told The Telegraph. He said his daughter is initially declining to speak to reporters until she hears something from the Macon Bacon or the sheriff’s office.
Pund does not believe there is any evidence to support Tracy Allen’s suspicions.
“They’ve investigated and pretty much found nothing to it. Just kids talking to each other,” he said.