Is this mom a felon? Opinions please...

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2003
Is this mom a felon? Opinions please...
87
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 10:02am
I just read this recently in the local paper's police blotter, and I'm paraphrasing.

"Jane Doe, 42 of Westport was arrested on felony charges of child neglect when she left her 9 year old child alone in the car of the Barnes and Noble parking lot. Her son was asleep and she didn't want to wake him while she went inside to see if the new Harry Potter book she ordered had arrived....blah, blah, blah".

Now, I got a little worried, because just the day before I left my sons (10 and 13)in the car with bare sandy feet while I went in to pick up shirts at the cleaners. It would never occur to me that I could be arrested. I personally didn't think that leaving a 9 year old in the car while you ran into the store was so heinous. What do you think?

And I'll tell you this, I called the police station to ask just what age you COULD leave kids in the car if you ran into a store. I'll give everyone the answer later on, but I'm curious as to what everyone thinks about this. Opinions ladies?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2003
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 10:11am
I have a 10 yo. I'll leave her alone in the car, with the doors locked, if I can see the car from the store. I'd leave her in the car at the cleaner's for example but not at Wal Mart (or B&N). I also wouldn't leave her alone if she were asleep.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 10:17am
I would be really concerned If I saw a child asleep alone in the car on a hot day. I would have no idea how long the parents would be so I'd probably take the licence plate# and have the person paged. Not sure if its a crime but it sure is mean.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 10:19am
Well, how long did she leave him in the car? Several hours? Was the child FORCED to stay in the car, or was the child really asleep?

My opinion is that this child is old enough to get out of a car if they become over-heated, and if the child was NINE years old and SLEEPING, and she just went in for a couple of MINUTES to check on a book she had ordered, I don't see the big deal. I think this is really going a little too far, in that instance.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2003
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 10:20am
FYI it was not a hot day, it was one of those cold, rainy, raw days, so she was not putting her child in any physical discomfort.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2003
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 10:25am
I got more info from the police officer when I called, It was 1 am because the store stayed open all night because of the big Harry Potter party and promo, she apparently went in for 10 minutes and he was asleep because it was the middle of the night.

I have to say that I would have never gone out in the middle of the night for a book, but many, many parents did, there were articles and pictures of all the hoopla in the paper covering the party at Barnes & Noble.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 10:30am
You know, I find this pathetic. It wasn't hot, so the child wasn't in danger of over-heating, she was only inside for 10 minutes, I don't see the problem with this!

I have to leave for work now, but I cannot WAIT to hear what age the officer told you it is okay. What? 18??? 21??? Freaking unbelievable. What is next? You can't allow your child to play in the backyard without you 3 feet from him/her? You can't allow your child to wait at the bus stop alone until age 15? You can't let your child play in their bedroom alone? Good God, what is this world coming to?

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 10:35am
I am not sure-it is one of those iffy situations. I would have left my sleeping child home with DH to get the book or waited until the next morning. On the other hand, I sometimes leave my toddler in the carseat in our driveway while I unload groceries. DH feels I am wrong to do this. I say he is in the driveway and I am right there. Who knows?

When I was a child and misbehaved at the grocery store, my mother would send me out in the car. She did it once when I let her count to 3. I never did again. Also, when I was a teenager and did not want to go to church, I had to go and sit in the car. I still remember sitting in the car totally bored and listening the Casey Kasem's Top 40.

K

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2003
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 10:36am
I agree. Nine years old isn't helpless. I don't understand why it's such a big deal.

I have left my 12 year old in the car on several occasions and have done it for years. As long as it's not tooo hot or toooo cold, what's the danger? Someone's going to kidnap him? Not likely, he's bigger than me!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 10:37am
I might have been tempted to do the same thing.

So what age? I'm guessing you could leave your 13 year old, but not your 10 year old.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2003
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 10:42am
But can you leave a ten year old WITH a thirteen year old? I have six kids during the day (my three and my friend's three) - age range of 5 - 12 except for the baby who is one. I had to stop at the wawa for milk and didn't want to drag them all in so had the oldest ones watch the younger ones and I could see the car the whole time.

Could I be arrested for that?

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