A man who took his first selfie to amuse his kids has reportedly received death threats after a tragic misunderstanding caused him to be accused of stalking children.

The father of three from Melbourne, Australia snapped a picture himself with a Star Wars display at a Target store and sent it to his 16-year-old son. That didn't sit well with a mother whose kids were watching a movie in a play area nearby. She thought the man was photographing her children, so she took a picture of him and posted it to Facebook, where it was shared more than 20,000 times.


Once the man saw the photo on Facebook, he contacted a child abuse investigation team that was handling the case and explained what happened. Investigators then contacted the concerned mom, who removed the original post.

However, the man, who spoke to the Daily Mail Australia on condition of anonymity, said the damage had already been done by the time the post was deleted. The man told the paper that he's received death threats, and a friend of the family said his children have suffered as well.

The mom who labeled the man a "creep" issued a public apology Monday, and police say she's scheduled to meet with him this week to apologize in person.

A detective involved with the case said the mother believed she was doing the right thing, but that people should not be so quick to believe everything they see on social media.

"Members of the public must not believe everything they read on personal social media pages and refer to reliable sources for their information," he said.