there was an elderly couple on the bench opposite and showing that they were still very much in love with each other. I took a picture of them. Then an old man came along wearing a trilby hat, looking distinguished. I took a shot of him.
Then, what I can best describe as Vicki Pollard arrived, replete with the mandatory children. One of them began running towards the back of the bench and leaping high in the air over it, between the older people. "That would make a cool picture" I thought. He did it countless times, though each time I got ready to take the shot, he didn't jump. I made three attempts and gave up.
Five minutes went by, then they got up to leave.
seemed when i read it the people were all related to eachother
the older ( disgusted ) couple and the lady with the kids ...
yes, they were kind of creepy ...
If your kid is jumping around, people are going to look at him. He has drawn their attention. And if they look at him jumping around, they just might take pictures of his antics. The woman overreacted.
The OP was seated on a bench, while things happened around him, which he photographed. If he cannot do that, then Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, and so many others, were wrong to photograph what went on around them.
Have you seen the video of HCB stalking his subjects, surreptitiously and quickly getting a photo before they knew what was going on? Geez, what a creep!