Alright so, my friends and I wanted to share our experiences regarding Michael Bewcyk after the child abduction article came out, in hopes that if our stories went public it might encourage others to speak up if they have something to share, because we believe wholeheartedly that this isn’t the first time he’s done something like this, but rather the first time he’s been caught (aside from his child pornography charges).
He was the janitor at our elementary school, McKellar Park, for the duration of our education there (1997-2007).
Originally we thought of him as a nice friendly older gentleman. Always smiling, waving, talking to the kids etc. The older we got, however, we realized that there were some strange things about him. For one, he used to hand out candy. Harmless, of course, until you go from handing it out in the hallways to saying “come downstairs to my office and get the candy there”.
Starting in grade 6, he would invite my friends and I (all female) to go and hang out with him in his office, which is where the boilers were and crawlspace to the school. Whether we hid down there during recess if we didn’t want to go outside or something else, as long as we promised not to tell and nobody saw us go down there with him, he’d let us.
There were multiple times that he would actually let us go into the crawlspace of the school and crawl around with him, on our hands and knees, and nobody would have had any idea we were down there.
I remember one time some of the girls made it back to the entrance to the crawlspace and said “last one out gets locked in with Dan!” (He is known by Dan, which is his middle name).
I digress, I ended up being the last one to the door and remember banging on the door to the girls to let me out, and remember just having an incredibly chilling feeling having this man next to me. In addition, we found out this evening as well via the comments section of the Thunder Bay Courthouse – Inside Edition that he had done this to another group of girls years before us, and that just makes it even more disturbing.
“Who knows how many innocent children he has lured into unknown places.”
Another instance, in grade 6, I began taking my camera to school and taking pictures. I remember that Halloween my one friend and I were walking around and we gave Dan a picture of the two of us for his locker.
At this time, we were still too young and innocent to understand this was inappropriate and were thinking instead he was just a nice old man who loved his job and working with kids.
Two years later, we were back down in the boiler room hiding, and I remember seeing our photo in his locker, after all that time. I immediately ripped it down and tore it up, although the other girl in the photo said “hey, that’s mean, that’s his photo!”. I guess in those 2 years I had matured just enough and more than her to realize that it was not okay for him to have that photo.
Another recollection I have, (and I believe this was in grade 8,) involving the same girl, was that one day we were walking down the 300 block of Franklin Street North and saw Dan (Michael) on his steps.
He waved at us, so we stopped and said hello. He then proceeded to invite us inside for a drink.
We were now at the age where everything was comical to us; we were young and careless, so we agreed and stepped inside.
He then did something which we both recognized as wrong: offered us a beer, at the ages of 12 and 13. We declined, stating we were too young to drink. He then proceeded to offer us a non-alcoholic beverage and disappeared into the kitchen.
My friend and I then looked at each other and shared likewise opinions about the situation being wrong, and we ran out the door without even saying goodbye. I am confident that if we stayed that day something horrible would have happened.
Along with that, we would always see Dan biking around, waving and talking to kids. We never saw him with people his own age, or talk to other adults. He always went swimming at Dease Pool, which we thought was strange, as he went alone and would just swim in the pool and chat with children.
Our parents used to tell us to be nice to him, and when we started having suspicions that there was something wrong with him, they didn’t believe us and would say “he’s just a nice old man.” It was a year or two after grade 8 when the news broke about him being charged with possession of child pornography.
Needless to say, we got to have the “we were right” boast and our parents all felt terrible. Around that same time, we were actually having a reunion at McKellar for the schools anniversary, and that’s all anyone on the staff was talking about, amongst the parents. They were all incredibly shocked. Not us, however.
In light of this new development with him almost succeeding in luring an innocent child to his home, we thought it would be best to speak up in hopes of perhaps encouraging others to share their stories, as they may not have been as fortunate as us.
I also know according to his probation rules, which were released in the article earlier, that he’s not to be within a certain amount of feet of any areas that have the possibility of hosting children under 16, but as a long-time employee of ISC, I can testify I have seen him every day for almost 3 years, walking in laps around the mall.
Never shopping, just watching. And I know nothing can be done about that by Security because it’s up to probation officers to give that sort of jurisdiction.
As a matter of fact, I saw him walking around the mall on Sunday, which coincides with what the article said. I work across from (censored) and he’s always extra slow passing that store.
Sincerely, Chloe Skylar
(You can read the previous article about Micheal(Dan) Bewcyk below)
(THUNDER BAY, ON) - Information has come across our newsdesk about a child being abducted by a registered sex offender in Thunder Bay yesterday(Sunday) Our…