COURTENAY, B.C. – The local RCMP detachment in the Comox Valley has responded to a strange incident that occurred this week in Courtenay.

Samantha Hudson was playing softball at Valley View Elementary on Tuesday when she noticed an unknown man walking away from the field with her son.

The man was leading her son by the hand towards the green space behind a corner of the school.

Hudson told MyComoxValleyNow.com that the man had been spotted at ball games for the past few weeks. He was wearing a baby blue hat, and a red backpack with high-visual strips.

She said she followed the man and ran over the where they were headed. She found her son and two young girls with the man. Hudson yelled at the man, and brought the kids back to the bench at the ballpark.

After posting a warning about the man on a Comox Valley-based social media page, Hudson received considerable backlash from fellow residents.

She told MyComoxValleyNow.com that she received hate mail claiming she was a “sh*tty mom and that I should kill myself.”

Hudson said the man was carrying a four-inch pocket knife, and reported the incident to the Comox Valley RCMP.

The detachment has since responded to MyComoxValleyNow.com on the matter.

“I can confirm that a report was received by the Comox Valley RCMP on June 19, 2018. The male was identified as a local youth who has special needs. The RCMP is following up with his care workers to ensure the safety of local children,” read a statement from RCMP Constable Monika Terragni.

Hudson was able to elaborate on the RCMP response.

“I just received an update from the RCMP. The young man is actually only 17 and has the mentality of a 5-year-old. He has a first aid kit that he uses to collect bottles, which contains said knife. He is believed to be harmless,” she told MyComoxValleyNow.com on Wednesday evening.

“My ball family surrounded around me tonight with nothing but love and support,” she said, in the wake of the negative reaction she received on social media.