Artist who hands out colorful toy wands accused of attempting to lure children
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — An eccentric artist who makes colorful toy wands is defending himself against an online post painting him as a predator.
Steve Coy said he was at South Clairemont Community Park in San Diego on Sept. 7 when a group of children came up to play with his German Shepherd, Skippy.
“They were petting my dog and I was showing them how if you pull Skippy’s tail he says, ‘I love you,'” said Coy.
After a few minutes, he offered to give one of the girls a wand if she got permission from her mother. He also gave her a card from his pocket, which he calls the “Universal Fun Pass.” Inside, it has instructions for happiness, though Coy says it’s largely a joke.
“The side effects may include dancing, happiness, laughter and/or euphoria,” he said, reading from the Fun Pass. “How can anyone go wrong with that?”
Parents of the kids found plenty to worry about. When the girl went to ask her mom for permission to get a wand, they left in a rush.
Three of the women who were in the park that day filed a police report regarding a “suspicious encounter” with a man they said ran away. Coy disputes that, saying he stayed at the park after the children left and continued playing with his dog.
The incident was posted on the Nextdoor app, generating dozens of comments by residents concerned about the potential threat.
KGTV spoke to one of the mothers about the incident before Coy came forward. When asked about the optics of the situation, Coy said he knew the children’s parents were nearby and that he had no bad intentions.
“I’m not rich, but the amount of pleasure I can give a human being by giving them a magic wand is precious,” said Coy.
Asked if this would make him stop handing out his “Fun Passes” or wands to random people, he doubled down.
“It’s just who I am. It’s what I do, and I’m going to continue doing it,” said Coy.