Free-Range Kids

Mom Arrested for Letting Kid Play in Lego Store While She Shopped

Don't take your eyes off your kids before they are legally old enough to join the Army.

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Legos
LEGO Movie / Youtube

Do you remember going to the store as a kid? It was time on your own. It was a thrill.

Now, it's a crime.

Yesterday afternoon, a mom in Long Island, New York, was arrested for leaving her 7-year-old at the Roosevelt Field Mall LEGO Store for an hour and 20 minutes while she shopped elsewhere in the mall. According to Patch.com:

A store manger at the Lego Store became concerned for the well being of the unsupervised child and contacted mall security, who then called 911, police said.

The child was left unattended in the store for about an hour and 20 minutes, police said. When Patricia Juarez returned to the store, she arrested without incident at about 5:30 p.m., police said.

The story mentions that the the mother, Patricia Juarez, was also charged with petty larceny stemming from a previous warrant. Larceny is a real crime, of course. Letting your kid play by himself in the LEGO Store is not. I would really love the police to explain how endangered this child actually was, in a public place, surrounded by employees, shoppers, and security (and LEGO superheroes!).

free-range-kids

Nonetheless, in a country that arrests parents for taking their eyes off their kids anytime before they're legally old enough to join the Army, Juarez is now considered a criminal.

Her child was released to a relative, which makes me wonder whether the mom is in jail or simply not allowed contact with her son, since she is obviously a depraved monster who left her kid in an alligator swamp with meatballs in his pockets (or the suburban equivalent).

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  1. A store manger at the Lego Store became concerned for the well being of the unsupervised child

    Why? Was one of the other store employees about to molest the kid or something?

    1. How is the kid unsupervised when he is in a Lego Store under the eye of the manager and his staff?

      1. Fuck you, that’s how.

      2. Exactly. The guy was supervising the unsupervised child.

      3. Did the manager and the staff consent to being responsible for the child?

        1. Is that really relevant?

        2. MP is right. This is a liability issue. Had a problem occurred and the store assume responsibility for the child it would be a nightmare.

          1. Does the store say that minors must be accompanied by adults?

          2. Sure, its a liability issue for the store, which is why they don’t offer a day-care service for shoppers.

            But, this isn’t about the store’s liability. Its about the well-being of the child. Right?

            1. Yes, it is about the well being of the child. And since the store didn’t consent to assuming the responsibility, it’s within their rights to kick the kid out. And since that’s … well, just dumb … their only real option is a hand-off to the local authorities.

              1. Yes, it is about the well being of the child.

                Who’s responsibility is ensuring the well being of the child?

                Here’s a hint: It sure as hell isn’t the store’s.

                1. I know! The government! It takes a village after all.

                2. Exactly!

            2. So how’s that calling the authorities thing working out for this family? Are they better off?

              Here’s the problem:

              If this really is about the well-being of the child, the store asks the kid where mom is, tells him not to go anywhere while they find her, etc.

              If this is really about covering the store’s ass, then they disclaim all legal and moral responsibility and hand the kid off to the authorities, who can be relied on to fuck up the kid’s life in some small, or large, way.

              That this kid is with relatives is pure chance. No relatives in town? The kid would be in foster care.

              And, you know what? There is absolutely zero evidence for the proposition that this is at all justified because the kid was at risk of anything at all.

              1. Um, actually, it’s totally justified, whether the child is in any actual danger or not.

                See, the Lego Store is there to sell Legos. That is what they are paying their workers to do. They are not paying their workers to serve as unannounced babysitters for the children of dumbass Mexiwhores.

                When Dumbass Mexiwhore leaves her spawn in the store, without asking permission of store employees or notifying them somehow that they’re going to be responsible for her kid, she’s abandoning the kid. It doesn’t even matter for how long, but in this case, A FUCKING HOUR AND TWENTY MINUTES is more than 3x the time span I’d have waited before calling the cops.

                The kid was likely never in any real danger. But that’s not the issue here, is it? No. The issue is, stupid-assed irresponsible breeders don’t get to dump their kids off, totally unannounced, on other people, especially on private property where the owners would most certainly be held liable if anything happened to Precious (like if he pulled a display shelf of Legos down on himself while he was trying to climb it or something).

                1. The kid was likely never in any real danger. But that’s not the issue here, is it?

                  According to the store manager, the cops, and mall security, that’s the only issue.

                  1. I’m 100% fine with this arrest. Child abandonment. She said nothing to the employees; she just dumped her kid on them and expected them and the Lego Store to be responsible for it. This is actually what cops are for.

                    Frankly, who cares about the kid? As a business owner, I want my private property protected from the grubby non-purchasing fingers of the spawn of some stupid cunt who thinks I’m her free babysitting service. You can bet she’d sue if something happened to her kid while he was there.

                    It does not take a village. Either be responsible for your own kid, make REAL and MUTUAL arrangements with someone else to watch the kid, or have the police teach you basic child supervision. Business owners are not a “village” of impromptu free childcare.

                    1. Paper Wasp|8.6.14 @ 2:15PM|#

                      I’m 100% fine with this arrest. She said nothing to the employees;…

                      Of course she said nothing so the store would have plausible denial. The kid was fucking shopping. How do you know he had no money or that his mom did not say she would buy him something upon her return. You are just a dick. You were that kid snatcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang weren’t you.
                      Did I mention you are self righteous dick ta boot.

                    2. The kid was fucking shopping. How do you know he had no money

                      Le sigh. Another one I hope forcibly sterilizes himself before he inflicts children on us.

                      By law, the kid wasn’t old enough to be left on his own. It doesn’t matter if he had a wad of $100 bills in his pocket. The store doesn’t have to host him. He’s not their responsibility, and because he’s 7, by law, he needs to be supervised by an adult. An adult who actually has agreed to supervise the kid. An adult whose job it actually is to supervise the kid.

                      He doesn’t belong on someone’s private property without parental supervision, especially without the agreement of the employees or owner. He’s a liability risk, and a risk to the nice, new merchandise they’re trying to sell. To actual customers. Who are actually following the law when they visit.

                    3. By law? While I have some sympathy with the concept that the store may have liability, I ask for citation on that law.

                    4. CRAZY. With all the nit-picky laws NY has about what, where and how much, according to this site, no minimum age.

                      http://www.legalsource360.com/…..state-311/

                      (I was expecting to read 8.)

                    5. “… he needs to be supervised by an adult. An adult who actually has agreed to supervise the kid. An adult whose job it actually is to supervise the kid.

                      He doesn’t belong on someone’s private property without parental supervision, especially without the agreement of the employees or owner.”

                      You’re absolutely right. But you’re being a dick about it.

                    6. Hello Paper Wasp,

                      I wanted to say that, out of all the comments I have read here, everything you have said makes the most sense. So much so that I am in complete agreement with you.

                      Cheers

                    7. Oddly, I quite agree with Paper Wasp here.

                      The mother could have, at least, notified the clerk that she was going to leave her child there, and when they could expect her back.

                2. They’re there to sell toys, but a reasonably foreseeable consequence of that is that the store will attract kids, and that a certain fraction of them will be unaccompanied for a period of time. To expect otherwise is like putting out food for your dog or cat and expecting the cat next door never to come over & filch it.

                  1. They’re there to sell toys, but a reasonably foreseeable consequence of that is that the store will attract kids

                    You’ve just called a toy store an “attractive nuisance.” Are you sure you belong on a Libertarian website?

                    So a private property owner is responsible for caring for your children for an unknown/indefinite period of time, and should accept responsibility if something happens to the children? Just because it’s convenient for you? Because he’s in business to sell toys, which are “attractive” to your children?

                    Jeeesus, there are a lot of people on this comment thread whom I hope do not have children.

                    Nobody’s saying your kids can’t be free-range; we’re saying the “village” has no obligation to host or care for those kids on their private property, for any period of time, especially an indefinite one.

                  2. So if I have a swing set in my back yard for my own kids, I have to expect other kids will just show up and I have to watch them?

                    I don’t think you understand the purpose and intent of property rights.

                3. They are not paying their workers to serve as unannounced babysitters for the children of dumbass Mexiwhores.

                  Yes, they are, whether they acknowledge it or not.

        3. Would their consent have made the child safer, somehow?

          Because that’s what this is supposed to be all about.

          And WTF is mall security doing calling 911 for a “lost child”? Isn’t handling that supposed to be something they do?

          1. It was when malls first opened… today, eh?

          2. With this, I agree. Mall Security used to use the overhead paging system, and say, “Mrs. Juarez, little Jose is looking for you in the Lego Store.” Now, it’s just hand it over to the government.

        4. It’s a toy store in a mall. Isn’t that where all the unaccompanied children go? Unless they have a sign up making their policy about unaccompanied children clear, I don’t think it is unreasonable to assume that that is a pretty good place to leave your kid while you go shop for boring stuff.

          1. Is there a sign on in front of your house about unaccompanied children? Does thay mean everyone is free to drop their kids off on your lawn for the day?

            1. This.

              The Lego Store is there to sell Legos. Their employees are paid to maintain an attractive store that sells as many Legos as possible for the store’s owner. They do not maintain this store or pay their employees to run a drop-in surprise daycare. In no way should this private business owner be left liable–for five minutes let alone 80–for the children of lousy parents. This private business is not a free amusement park for the children of morons.

              It does not take a village. It takes the two dumbfucks who chose to bring the child forth into the world. This time, I’m actually happy to let the police and the government teach parents that lesson if they’re too stupid to know it already. Because it isn’t the job of unrelated private business and property owners.

              1. This private business is not a free amusement park for the children of morons.

                Actually, that is kind of what toy stores are. It’s a big part of their whole marketing strategy. If the kid was causing trouble or demanding a juice box or something you might have a point.

                1. No, it isn’t. Not sure where you come up with that.

            2. Ohh I can’t wait til Thursday.

            3. What the fuck are you talking about? Private homes are generally understood not to be places where you can drop your kids off without making prior arrangements. Toy stores are a rather different situation.

              1. I think toy stores are generally understood not to be places where you can drop your kids off without making prior arrangements, as well.

                1. If the toy store was expected to actively supervise and care for the kid, sure. But stores of all kinds are public places where people of any age are generally allowed to browse and check stuff out for as long as they want to. Is there any reason to believe that anything other than that was happening?

              2. So a toy store is an “attractive nuisance,” like a swimming pool? So the store owner must babysit some/any kid that just happens to show up? Because that’s what you’ve just categorized a toy store as: an attractive nuisance.

                A toy store is someone’s private property, just like a private home is also someone’s private property. It’s not an extension of your fucking living room. Someone owns and maintains it as a business to make a profit by selling toys; they maintain it to be attractive to children so they will sell more toys, not because they have any desire or obligation to serve as a free amusement park for your kids. It is not a public trust or a free daycare service.

                Do you understand that not everything that is attractive to children is necessarily there for your children’s free use? Do you get the difference between a toy store’s private property and the jungle gym in the middle of your local public park?

                1. God dammit, you are a dick and a fucking idiot. Who said the store has to babysit anyone? I’m going to go with the troll police today and ignore you now.

                  1. You’re the dick, leaving your retarded fucking kids for property and business owners like me to manage. Oh, and I’m not supposed to call the cops because I sell something your kid likes…oh, I see. I’m just supposed to let your drooling fucking retard open packages of merchandise that cost me money and that I can no longer sell after he opens them, and sit on the floor playing with them. Because IT TAKES A VILLAGE.

                    Until you decide to mouth-breathe and waddle your way back down to the other end of the mall and pick him up, of course.

                    Fuck you. Do everyone a favor and fucking sterilize yourself with a chopstick. Stores are not here to amuse or watch your snot-glazed retarded kids for free.

                2. Libertarians are all about personal freedom which should include personal responsibility should be the flipside of that.

                  But the usual cabal of posters here let that principle fly out the window when the cops are involved, because cop-hate overrides all that.

                  When cops get involved, suddenly everyone’s a collectivist and parents don’t have to watch after their own kids.

                  And if you think otherwise, you are a slaver.

                  1. This is a fascinating mischaracterization of several of the posters comments here.

                    1. Nobody asked the store to watch the kid, you dumb shits.

                      Was the kid in any real danger? Statistically, no. That has already been acknowledged by the brilliant Wasp.

                      Was the store under real risk of liability for anything? Statistically, no.

                      Did the mother ask anyone to watch the kid? Apparently not.

                      Did the store have a sign or policy preventing a child being in there on their own? Does the mall? Answer is no?

                      Then defending this as a reasonable response from the employees and mall security and cops is fucking stupid.

                      If the child was behaving like a moron, the parent and kid should be responsible.

                      You have to be a real mouth breathing fucking moron to think this deserves to be a legal matter involving cops.

                  2. Well said jmomis.

              3. No, they’re not. You don’t ‘drop off’ kids at the toy store then leave for extended periods of time. It isn’t a fucking day care.

        5. Backing MP on this one. It isn’t the store’s responsibility to contain and preserve someone’s child while mom goes off to do other things. No.

          Yes, in the 70’s I was allowed to travel a store to look at what-have-you while my parents shopped in that store, but not left alone to play for an hour…

          This is not quite the same level of ridiculousness as kids playing at the park.

          1. This is not quite the same level of ridiculousness as kids playing at the park.

            Arresting the parent sure as fuck is.

            1. The employees didn’t know where the dumb cunt had gone, and had no indication if or when she’d be back. What are they supposed to do? They’re not responsible for the child. The “village” is not responsible for your children. Just because they sell things your kid might like doesn’t mean you get to dump your kid off on them.

              They waited 1:20 for Mother of the Year to show the fuck back up. Way more than generous, IMO. She didn’t. How long do you think a private property owner is supposed to supervise and be responsible for your kids, with no mutual arrangement in place?

              1. Was the child crying as though abandoned?

                Why would the store be anymore responsible for a 7yo than a 17yo?

                The child doesn’t require supervision.

                You’re kinda a pussy, aren’t you?

                1. The child doesn’t require supervision

                  The law states that a child under 12 does. That’s why the mother was arrested. She left the kid someplace without telling anyone or mutually arranging for supervision. It’s not like she dropped him off at school, where there’s a mutual arrangement that adults will be there to supervise him.

                  If something happens to the kid while he’s on the store owner’s private property, the store owner could be held liable in a civil suit.

                  At minimum, the employees would have to watch a 7-year-old to make sure that he both didn’t injure himself in the store, and that their unopened, saleable merchandise was protected from damage, so they could sell it to someone who was actually a real customer (you know, real customers, the reason toy stores are open…not for providing free daycare). For the store’s own protection, not for the kid’s. (Couldn’t care less about the kid. I’m concerned for the property owner.)

                  So yes, they had to supervise him. By default, to protect the store’s property and limit the store’s liability.

                  1. What law? By what authority? Why should the mother even care what some third party claims in this matter?

                  2. The law states that a child under 12 does.

                    {citation required]

                2. ‘Why would the store be anymore responsible for a 7yo than a 17yo?’

                  Seriously? Are you working on your PhD. in Dumbfuckedness? There is a gigantic difference. On many levels.

                  And I’m no pussy, but I could punch you hard enough to make yours bleed.

            2. I -agree- with that. Leaving little one to wreck the shelves and spit on the floor isn’t an arrestable offense, just a really, really tired and assholish thing to do. (Put me down for a vote against this behavior.)
              The public humiliation of pointing out the actual purpose of said retail establishment should have been enough…but what about this outstanding warrant and whatever her reaction was when she returned to the store…how much did that have to do with her being arrested?
              The wording of her troubles doesn’t really answer me.

              1. Is that what happened? Did the kid destroy property?

      4. Lego store workers aren’t babysitters. be responsible for your own damn kids.

        1. Good point. However, as a child that wandered off all the time I’m glad my mom never got arrested. Since not wandering around wasn’t an option, her solution was to get me a watch and tell me to meet her at a specific place at a specific time. I wonder how I was never attacked or kidnapped.

          1. Maybe you were just an ugly kid?

            1. Not ugly, just really loud and annoying.

              1. Nothing some duck tape can’t fix

                I’m on a list now aren’t I???

        2. She WAS responsible for her own damn kids. She decided the kid would be fine, by himself, in the Lego store.

          1. And she was right. Well, up until the cops were called, anyway.

          2. Seriously. The only bad thing that happened here was the mother getting arrested.

            1. That was overkill. She fucked up, but an arrest is just escalating things.

          3. Too bad she didn’t actually ask the property owners or the store employees if they decided the kid would be fine, too.

            I guess the Lego Store didn’t decide they wanted to be an unpaid fucking babysitter and amusement park. Hmm.

            Gosh, it’s too bad you can’t force private property owners to be responsible for your kid with no prior warning or mutual arrangement, isn’t it?

            1. Too bad she didn’t actually ask the property owners or the store employees if they decided the kid would be fine, too.

              She didn’t need to. Both her and her child were invited in by a sign on the door:

              Store Hours
              M-F 8-6

            2. You are so completely brainwashed that you actually believe a child needs to be monitored 24/7.

              That is, quite simply, bullshit.

              1. You are so completely brainwashed that you actually believe a child needs to be monitored 24/7

                Au contraire. I have no opinion on whether a child needs to be monitored. I don’t give a shit where you abandon your kid or what happens to it, just don’t do it on someone else’s private property where the property owner is responsible for what happens, and the kid can damage merchandise and be in no position to pay for it.

                My opinion is just that some unrelated private property owner has no obligation to host an unaccompanied minor (that is, by law, someone under 12, no parent) without some sort of mutual agreement in place. For a fucking hour and twenty minutes.

                She didn’t need to. Both her and her child were invited in by a sign on the door:

                Store Hours
                M-F 8-6

                LOL, yeah. They’re invited to shop. Do we need special signs and waivers for breeders like you? Just to prevent you from using private store owners as free impromptu daycare? Do you get what the purpose of a “store” is, and that just because it keeps business hours where the public is welcome to shop does not make it “public property?” Maybe you’re the type of guy who also needs signs to warn you that the coffee is served hot and the stairs could be slippery when wet?

                1. Paper Wasp is right.

                  The store is not obligated to share the mother’s opinion about when her child can be left alone. And she didn’t bother to ask them.

                  It’s their property, and they are entitled to have their own opinions about unaccompanied minors on it. The mother should have discussed it with the clerk, and asked if she could leave her child there and for how long.

                  She didn’t, she just left him there, and thereby left the store workers reponsible for him without their consent, and without any idea of when, or IF, she was going to pick him up.

                2. For the 10th fucking time asshole. The kid wasn’t left with the store. The kid was left on his own, you fucking moron. Just like we all were growing up, until pussies like you started your pearl clutching.

                  Unless the store had a sign that said no unaccompanied minors, there is no difference between an adult browsing and a kid browsing.

                  The store is no more responsible for that kid than they are for an adult.

                  1. Paper Wasp is correct. You are not. And if the kid had gotten hurt, the store would be held liable.

                    There. Now I’ve straightened you out. Feel free to thank me.

                3. “I don’t give a shit where you abandon your kid or what happens to it, just don’t do it on someone else’s private property where the property owner is responsible for what happens”

                  That is the real issue … property owners should not be held liable for everything that happens on their property … they should only be liable for things that happen as a direct result of their actions or negligence.

                  People need to learn to live life at their own risk and stop blaming others when things go wrong. That is the essence of freedom.

                  There shouldn’t be an “expectation” for the store to take care of the kid, just because he was left there.
                  The assumption should be that the kid can take care of himself.

                  Given the sad state of the law, I don’t blame the store for calling security. However, security should simply find the mom, and leave it at that. Once the cops got involved, I also think they should have found the mom issue a warning and leave it at that.

                  “and the kid can damage merchandise and be in no position to pay for it.”

                  If and when that happens, the parents can be held responsible for the merchandise. Until then, don’t restrict people’s freedom based on “what if”

      5. Why is the staff of the Lego Store obligated to provide free child care services?

        1. No one is saying they are.

          We’re saying leaving your kid in a toy store is not per se child abuse, and should not result in arrest.

          1. I’m with Paper Wasp on this one. An hour and 20 minutes is way too long. I wouldn’t appreciate someone dumping their kid in place of business either, especially without knowing when she’s coming back.

            Also, she was arrested on an outstanding warrant for a larceny charge so she’s not exactly Miss Upstanding.

            1. Yes. That.

    2. While arresting the mother is way over the line, I gotta say she’s an inconsiderate bitch and deserves to bitch slapped. Dumping her kid off for an hour and half to let the Lego store employees baby sit her, is really inconsiderate.

    3. I’m a parent and I would have inquired if I noted that the child was apparently alone. Also a lawyer and note that the store would be damned if it did and if it didn’t do something.

  2. Of course they busted her, her name is “Juarez”.

  3. Oh the irony: Force kids to be distributed relatively randomly throughout the country because their parents happen to live across an arbitrary line, yet arrest parents for leaving their kid in a toy store for an hour.

    I’m just so confused.

    1. “I’m just so confused.”

      That’s not surprising considering the fact that you consider International Borders to be “arbitrary lines”.

      1. Eh, have to say I agree with anon on this one. Hopefully I’m posting the link correctly.

    2. The line isn’t arbitrary . People died to place and laminating those lines. If they weren’t there, you wouldn’t enjoy the life you lead today.

  4. Now, it’s a crime.

    Everything is a crime now. It just depends on whether someone decides to enforce it, or not. If you get unlucky like this woman, then a little of the everything gets enforced.

  5. A bullshit arrest, obviously, but I personally would never leave my 7-year-old child unsupervised in a store for over an hour.

    1. Me neither, but not because I was worried about the child’s well-being.

      Because I wouldn’t want to have to pay for all the stuff the little bastard broke.

      1. Because I wouldn’t want to have to pay for all the stuff the little bastard broke.

        Yeah, that’s part of it. But we still read stories about small children, left to their own devices in the toy department, walking out of a store hand-in-hand with a stranger. This happened to an 8-year-old girl in my city just last year; she wound up raped and murdered.

        I know the odds of it ever happening to any given child are vanishingly small, but it’s a nightmarish enough scenario that my small child wouldn’t be out of my sight while out in public.

        1. How old will your kid need to be before you let them out of the house unaccompanied? I’m genuinely curious.

          1. How old will your kid need to be before you let them out of the house unaccompanied? I’m genuinely curious.

            Mine’s a teen now,so she’s pretty much got free reign.

            I really can’t put some brightline number on it, only that for me, seven would’ve been a bit young for my daughter to be left alone in a store for an extended period of time. Maybe nine? Ten? Who knows. I guess that depends on the kid, the store, and how accustomed you’ve gotten as a parent to lengthening your child’s leash, so to speak.

            Again, I’m speaking only to my preferences as a parent. I maintain that the police should never have been called and that the mother should never have been charged, because no crime was committed.

            1. Once my kid is potty trained, he’s on his own.

            2. I’m still a little unclear. How old before “my small child wouldn’t be out of my sight while out in public” was no longer your rule of thumb?

              BTW, I include “not in the house (or fenced yard)” as out in public.

              1. I’m still a little unclear. How old before “my small child wouldn’t be out of my sight while out in public” was no longer your rule of thumb?

                A few years ago, when she was about ten, several of us were having lunch at Cheesecake Factory at a local outdoor mall. When she was done with lunch, I gave her some cash and she went to the Barnes & Noble across the street. I’m pretty sure that was the first time I let her wander off on her own in a public place like that.

                By the time she was 12, she was riding her bike to the store in our fairly suburban part of town whenever she wanted. Nowadays, she’s got pretty much free reign to go wherever she wants (though she’s not yet old enough yet to drive).

                Like I say, I couldn’t give you some brightline standard with regard to what’s “too young” or “old enough.” Would my then-7-year-old daughter be old enough to be alone for an hour in a store while I shopped elsewhere? No. Would my then-10-year-old daughter be old enough to browse through a bookstore while I finished lunch at a restaurant across the street? Yes.

                1. Very different. Your daughter in the book store was a shopper. The kid playing in the LEGO store was a nuisance.

                  1. Very different. Your daughter in the book store was a shopper. The kid playing in the LEGO store was a nuisance.

                    True. I’d have allowed her to go there just to browse, though, if she’d wanted. That’s kind of expected in a bookstore. Plus, I trust my kid implicitly, and trust plays a large role in how much freedom we give our kids.

              2. I’m still a little unclear. How old before “my small child wouldn’t be out of my sight while out in public” was no longer your rule of thumb?

                Interesting that you seem to be incapable of living life without an instruction manual.

          2. 26, obviously. When they are officially able to be responsible for themselves. Except for deciding what substances they can handle ingesting, what foods they can purchase, what contracts they can enter into, what type of health insurance best fits their situation, what countries they can travel to or do business with…

      2. That’s the great thing about the LEGO store. That shit is damn near impossible to break.

    2. Well, when I was 7 I was already driving. Drunk. Uphill in a snowstorm on my way to work in the mines.

      Sorry.

      An hour in a store is kind of a long time, I guess. But (as so many here are fond of recollecting freer childhoods), at 7 I really was going on my own into town and going to whatever stores I wanted for at least that long. I don’t know if a mall today is any more dangerous than a small town 30 years ago. I wouldn’t think so.

      1. Me, too, Zeb.

        Including a very well-stocked gun store. I remember one encounter with the staff.

        He told me not to touch anything.

        AND NOTHING ELSE HAPPENED.

        1. But that’s the difference. Do you think this dumb cunt told her kid not to touch anything, and to behave? Honestly, do you think a parent who just dumps a kid off on someone else’s private property without even telling the owners or their employees has done the due diligence of instructing the child how not to fuck with stuff before they buy it? Not to touch anything…in the Lego Store? No.

          Parents don’t tell their kids to keep their hands off other people’s property anymore, because it hurts little Jayden-Tyler-Madison-Konnor’s precious self-esteem. Also, nobody drops their kid off in the Lego Store and expects them not to touch anything, that was the whole point of her dumping him off there.

          1. I would like to point out a few things:

            A. You are commenting like a douche. My jury is still out on whether you are a complete douche but so far it isn’t looking good for your defense team.

            B. The Lego stores I have been to in Malls and elsewhere have large bins, small tiny chairs, and tables with patter books. They actively encourage children to sit and play with their product.

            C. While I agree the store should not be made responsible for the child, and if such a suit were to be levied by the mother I would be against it, they should have exercised better judgment in reuniting the child with his mother. i.e. ask the child where mommy is.

            D. The Mall security, when called, should have taken the kid to their office and paged over the loudspeaker “Come get your kid”. This has been policy and custom in malls for decades. There was little to no rational reason to call the police.

            F. I still have not received a SINGLE VOTE on the great creme anglaise debate of 2014 from surly chef or anyone.

            1. p.s. Insert unobtrusive n where appropriate.

              p.p.s. Worst CHAT ROOM EVER!

              p.p.p.s. For a site called Reason (i just needed a drink is all).

            2. Well, good thing I don’t give a fuck whether you think I’m commenting like a douche.

              Lego Stores have figured out that making their stores appealing to children helps them sell products. That’s why they have the play areas. They don’t have the play areas because they’re serving as a free drop-in-unannounced daycare. The Disney Store, FAO Schwartz, etc., same story. Making the store appealing to children helps sell merchandise. In no way does this mean they’re running a daycare, or that you can just abandon your kids there without telling anyone. (See also Joe Camel…putting a camel cartoon on your pack of cigarettes wasn’t an invitation for children to smoke. Just because something’s appealing to children doesn’t mean you’re inviting them to make use of it illegally.)

              Play areas or no, it’s still illegal to leave a kid under 12 anywhere. The store and its employees have no obligation to host somebody’s kids. If a law’s being broken, why should the store mollycoddle the lawbreaker? Call the damned cops, this is actually something cops are there for.

          2. Look, asshole. The police weren’t called because the kid was vandalizing the store or causing problems for the other patrons or employees of the store. So everything you say is bullshit.

            1. No, you’re right, Zeb, and “asshole” to you right back!

              The police were called because a seven-year-old child, whom by law is not old enough to be left unsupervised, was left unsupervised for an extended period, with no indication from the parents where they were or when they’d be back, and no arrangements made for the kid’s supervision.

              That’s why the police were called. Get that yet?

      2. Zeb you left out the details of being barefoot or shod in too small hand me downs from your sister.

      3. I think we were 7 or 8 when we were left to wander around an Viking Archery while my dad got a new bow dialed in. It was awesome. They had the coolest trophy room.

    3. As a former retail store employee, I want to say thank you.

      1. As a former retail store employee, I want to say thank you.

        I briefly worked at Target about 20 years ago. For me, the single worst chore we had to perform was “zoning,” which meant at the end of the day moving every piece of product to the front of its shelf, peg, or rack, so that it would nice and orderly for the guests (Target-speak for customers) when the store opened the next day. Invariably, Toys was the most utterly destroyed department each night.

        To this day, out of some misplaced sense of solidarity with the store’s employees, if I take something off the shelf, I’ll pull the one behind it to the front.

        1. Do you randomly go up to the employees, give them a hug, and tell them it gets better?

  6. I would really love the police to explain how endangered this child actually was, in a public place, surrounded by employees, shoppers, and security (and LEGO superheroes!).

    Obviously, you aren’t familiar with the Bad Cop/Good Cop character.

    1. Hey! Spoiler alert!

  7. I would larf indeed if someone starting posting signs around that store:

    “DO NOT bring your children into this store! The manager says the store is not safe for children, and you may be arrested!”

  8. My son is 2, and while he is still in the Duplos phase he loves watching short Lego movies people make on youtube.

    A lot of the movies are Lego City based which of course includes plenty of police Legos.

    Would it be wrong to purposely exclude Lego Police sets when he is older? Or am I just a wacky paranoid asshole?

    1. Would it be wrong to purposely exclude Lego Police sets when he is older?

      This seems rather naive. Kids will be exposed to police and police toys, if they don’t, you’re staring into the abyss…

      Just monitor their play and make sure that they understand that when the lego police officer steps on private property and shoots the lego dog, he’s committed a crime himself.

      However, it/they are yours to raise.

      1. Looking at the sets now, I don’t see any guns.

        How will Lego cops shoot dogs without guns!?

        1. Looking at the sets now, I don’t see any guns.

          That’s because the kid is 2. By the time you get to 4-5, the Lego sets include everything from handguns to light sabers.

          Lego Storm Troopers are routinely mauled by dogs. They fire endlessly and still manage to get mauled.

          1. No, I went online and was looking at regular lego sets and didn’t see any guns.

            1. Huh? I stepped on a flintlock musket last night and I’m positive I’ve prevented my son from taking sets with assault-riflesque accessories to school.

              Daggers, swords, battle axes, bows…

              Maybe just some niche collection of sets doesn’t carry guns?

              Either way, brickarms.com has got you covered and if it’s a boy and he sees a gun, he’ll turn some of the Legos (random tree limbs, hot dogs, etc.) into guns regardless.

            2. I think every Star Wars/Ninja Turtle/Batman set I’ve assembled has had the lame compression propelled ‘rocket’ assemblies on them.

            3. If you’re looking for guns in the police sets, you won’t find them. We expect guns because of our militarized police, but in Denmark, it’s apparently different.

              You’ll find the guns in the military or spy sets such as “Galaxy Squad” or “Ultra Agents”

              1. Why did I mention Denmark? Doesn’t everybody know that’s where Legos are from? No? I guess that’s just me, the Lego nerd.

      2. i’m more of the let them make their own minds up philosophy. Exclusion will lead to curiosity which might lead to anger- which we all know leads to the dark side.

        1. That’s how I ultimately feel too.

          But in the back of my mind, there is still the thought “fuck those lego cops.”

          1. my kid doesn’t care about the cops- just lego everything else! He’s begging for a mindstorm… he’s probably going to get it.

      3. If anything, you should encourage an abundance of Lego Police toys and arbitrary rules that the Lego Police toys enforce on all the other toys. Guilty toys get arrested and locked away for trivial trespasses. Children who don’t respect lego police property or the laws of lego police land will be dealt with harshly.

        Then play the ‘good cop’ let toys off for good behavior, convince your child that when they do bad stuff the lego cops would punish them worse than you do…

    2. Tell him there are no cops in Libertopia. And that he doesn’t need to worry about roads, either.

      1. Actually now that I think about it, he has a Duplo cop and police car at his grandmother’s house.

        I have already failed as a father.

      2. Ok, I laughed.

    3. Do Lego Police come with or with a Sting?

    4. If you exclude the Lego police set, what the heck is he going to run over with the Lego steam roller set or blast to bits with the Lego Star Wars set, hmmmmm?

      1. How the heck is a lego steam roller going to destroy the Lego MRAP?

  9. And what exactly was the charge? This is more “arrest someone because I’m bored” shit.

    1. And what exactly was the charge?

      Conspiracy to annoy local PD with nothing better to do.

    2. Contributing to the delinquency of a minor?

  10. Perhaps not the best example ever, but certainly another datapoint in the ongoing wussification of America. Not all hard to draw a direct line from this sort of stuff to people *begging for* a TSA groping or an NSA cookie on their laptop.

  11. Adam Walsh could not be reached to comment.

  12. I used to be left alone in the perfume aisle or the pet section (when a Target level store used to have puppies). I was told not to leave and I didn’t. I was definitely around the age of this kid. Nothing happened other than me begging for a puppy or smelling like a *!^^!! when my mom came back from whatever department she was in.

    1. Which is worse to smell like: perfume or puppies?

  13. The question is, when does bad parenting become a criminal offense? EVER?

    1. When the child is harmed?

      1. It’s a good start. Physically harmed?

    2. Well, actual physical violence, obviously (I know some people here think it was great that their daddy whooped their ass, but I don’t buy it). And actual neglect that leads to actual endangerment. There are some parents who probably should actually have their kids removed, but given the horrors of the system that the kids face when that happens, the bar should be very high.

      1. “And actual neglect that leads to actual endangerment.” That seems mighty gray of you.

        1. “Have you eaten today, kid?”

          1. yes- because my kids would never lie if they thought it meant free pizza in the food court!

          2. “Not enough.”

            1. I never understood those kids whose parents had trouble getting them to eat. I was always hungry. Maybe everybody should grow up in Houston surrounded by world-class Mexican food.

              1. Damn you, Brandon….now I want Mexican food.

      2. I know some people here think it was great that their daddy whooped their ass, but I don’t buy it.

        Are you a parent?

        My wife and I were gung ho on the whole ‘No Spanking’ kick (my wife was never spanked and I got to run out to the orchard and pick my own switch). That went out the window after the first 6 mo. or so of tantrums. Dragging the kid kicking and screaming down the hall and forceably restraining them while trying to put their pants on seemed like torture relative to a spanking.

        Kicking and screaming tore up the house and left rug burns and claw marks (not ever time obv.) spankings were nowhere near as damaging/disruptive and have generated differing but generally higher levels of respect/compliance.

        I respect anyone who doesn’t spank and wouldn’t advise the use of force as the go to cure or a preferred solution. But I think the other end of the spectrum deserves respect as well.

        1. I don’t condemn everyone who uses any physical punishment on their children. But there is a difference between a smack on the butt to snap a kid out of their tantrum or to quickly correct dangerous misbehavior and what I would consider an ass whooping.

          1. Ass whoopings should only be employed on boys over about 15. If they do real damage and don’t show remorse or try to make amends, they might need it.

            1. Maybe. But I suspect such people have either already chosen their path in life, or will straighten themselves out eventually with or without being beaten. And there is some reason to believe that corporal punishment of older children and teens does more harm than good in most cases. Some kids might wake up and straighten out, but I suspect that more will simply learn the lesson that violence is a good way to make your point to people.

              1. //But I suspect such people have either already chosen their path in life, or will straighten themselves out eventually with or without being beaten.

                Bullshit. You;d be amazed at the power of a good ass-beating (for serious teen troublemakers). The problem is a lot of these kids possibly don’t realize that when they turn 18, their shit WILL get them beaten, actually raped and stabbed in prison, so kicking their ass is mercy if anything, and lets them INTERNALIZE, not just “know” that there are repercussions out there. Also I’m guessing it somehow gives them perspective, like with the violence done to them, they realize what they’re doing to other people, though they may not realize that they grew this empathy, if you want to call it that.

                This is of course, again, only for serious teen troublemakers: vandals, gang wannabes, serious bullies, thieves, etc.

        2. My friend has a 2 year old and he gets her to behave without spanking or threat of spanking. How, I don’t know, but I am going to find out in the next 7 months.

          1. It’s not NEARLY as difficult as many would have you believe. Even very young kids understand natural consequences, what messes them up is parents who don’t consistently enforce rules or follow through. And yes, I have kids of my own, and was also a nanny/governess for some very self-entitled brats over the years. Spanking doesn’t work. It might have an immediate effect (hell, who doesn’t tend to stop whatever they’re doing when someone hits them?) but it doesn’t teach kids anything in the long run, except that they need to be sneakier in the future. There’s just no need for spanking.

  14. When I was a kid the mall had this thing called an arcade. It was like a bunch of xboxes operated by quarters in a room that smelled of juvenile rage and pot. My mom would leave me there the entire time she was shopping with only one “adult” around. Somehow I survived the crack dealers and child molester syndicate, and kicked ass at street fighter.

    1. When I was a kid the mall had this thing called an arcade.

      And, as a kid, aside from maybe the food court, this was the only purpose the mall served.

      1. I got to see the horrible taste that we were supposed to accept as good taste.

      2. It’s disappointing how terrible Sbarro is as an adult compared to how delicious it was as a child.

        1. That’s just New York style pizza for you.

          Not to mention ketchup on a hot dog.

  15. I think this one is a tougher call than we’d like to believe. The article was scant on particulars. But under 8 is a grey area regarding a child’s ability to act responsibly. First, it’s entirely possible that no one at the store ever saw the mother in the first place. Second, they are under no obligation to assume responsibility for the child. Third, an hour is unusually long in today’s society. Who’s to say that this wasn’t a precursor to child abandonment? Forth, even if they asked the kid “where’s your parent”, how reliable is that answer?

    I’m still not convinced that it should be an arrestable offense. And the laws that push the age limit for such an offense to 12 are way out of line. But a 7 year old alone in a very busy setting with no established adult supervision is pushing the boundaries of responsible parenting.

    1. No, it’s pretty cut and clear: What the mother chooses to let her child do unsupervised is her fucking business. If shit goes wrong, it’s also her problem to deal with.

      If the assholes that run a goddamn toy store can’t tolerate a child, perhaps they should find a new job.

      1. If shit goes wrong, it’s also her problem to deal with.

        You’re in a rather small minority that is willing to accept negative consequences imposed on a minor when there’s general evidence of parental neglect.

        Does leaving a 7 year old alone clearly qualify as parental neglect? I think it’s hazy. But true neglect is a crime except for those who equate children with property.

        1. You’re in a rather small minority that is willing to accept negative consequences imposed on a minor when there’s general evidence of parental neglect.

          Uh, I think you’re mistaken: Pretty sure the majority of parents assume responsibility for their child’s actions when they are not present. Also, whether such a view is in the minority or not is not relevant to the question of rightness or justness.

          1. That’s not what I said. To spell it out further, when “shit goes wrong”, such as the child runs off and gets lost/injured, the child has suffered negative consequences that likely would have been avoided with proper parental supervision. The intent of the law is to prevent those negative consequences from being imposed on a minor.

            1. Ah yes, the teflon world in which no kid should ever feel pain or discomfort. Because that is the way to turn them into productive, self sufficient adults.

            2. The intent of the law is to prevent those negative consequences

              Ah, I see we have a different premise: I have one that assumes a police state is bad, and you assume it is good.

              1. Ah, I see we have a different premise: I have one that assumes a police state is bad, and you assume it is good.

                Actually, you seem to be marinating in your own solipsism than anything else.

      2. One has to ask about store management. Waiting over an hour implies that had the mom returned at say one hour, this might have been a non-incident. I give them the benefit of doubt I would want. This might have seemed like the 1st hour of abandonment.

        I totally agree that there is never, ever a good time to call the authorities. I might have considered calling mall security before reading this story. Now, Im just left wondering what I would have done.

        1. I totally agree that there is never, ever a good time to call the authorities.

          Oh c’mon. So if the child was truly abandoned (i.e. the store was closing and the kid was still there), then you wouldn’t call the cops? “Sorry kid, have a nice walk home to where the fuck you live.”

          1. There are a whole host of societal problems wrapped up in this issue.

            We live in a litigious world, and that business needs to be concerned about accepting responsibility for the child. I can see many lawyers saying that by allowing kids to play unsupervised for hours, they implied that they are willing to accept responsibility for these kids. And what would happen if something happened to this kid on their premises? They could very well be sued by the same mom leaving the kid there.

            Likewise, if the business doesn’t want to accept responsibility for the kid, what are they to do? There is no parent, so are they going to kick the kid out of the store? Can we imagine the PR backlash that they would receive in this?

            The ultimate problem here is that the mom has placed the Business in a difficult position by leaving the kid there unsupervised (without permission), and the business is reacting in a logical way to reduce the liability that causes.

            1. I think that you are right that the store is put in a difficult position. The real problem here is that the reaction is to call police (and 911 too, isn’t that for emergencies? An unsupervised kid who is facing no immanent danger really isn’t an emergency) rather than call mom over the intercom and tell her to get her kid.

    2. Maybe the store guy has cause for concern. Buy why not ask the kid where his mother is?

  16. Best store sign – Children left unattended will be given red bull and a puppy.

  17. But a 7 year old alone in a very busy setting with no established adult supervision is pushing the boundaries of responsible parenting.

    Well, then I guess damn near every parent in America was irresponsible up until the rise of helicopter parenting. Because this was not at all unusual until pretty recently.

    Hell, when I was 7, me and my buddies pretty much roamed the earth (within about a 3 block radius of our homes). We went to movies, we went to stores, we played in allies and parks, we caught lizards, you name it. Were all of our parents irresponsible?

    1. Were all of our parents irresponsible?

      Yup, all our parents lived in fucking Somalia.

    2. within a 3 block radius of your home is different than in a mall. If my kid can walk back (and knows how to do it) by a certain time it’s fine with me.

      1. Honestly, by the time I was 7, I’m pretty sure we were going “downtown” which was about a mile away. A little hazy on what the radius of roaming was by year.

        The point being, of course, that we were unsupervised, and we were roaming. According to some, that means that all of our parents (who were pretty typical) were irresponsible and should have been arrested.

        And, trust me, we were roaming in places and doing things that were a hell of a lot more dangerous than Lego store in a mall.

        1. Honestly, by the time I was 7, I’m pretty sure we were going “downtown” which was about a mile away. A little hazy on what the radius of roaming was by year.

          ‘Town’ was 7 mi. away for me and I’d draw the line at riding a bike. IMO, it represents the definitive skill or moment a child is able to fully escape the parent and claims a huge portion of their own autonomy.

        2. I always felt bad for my sister. She was 2 years older than us, but we had the same boundaries, which I think at 7 was no more than 15 minutes away by bike. But that was pretty much on the honor system. I don’t know if we were 7 or 8 when we found a big pile of scrap wood and used it to build a bridge over a creek and a fort.

        3. At 5 (it had to be, since we moved before I turned 6) I was given 50 cents to go get a haircut. Only a few blocks of quiet neighborhood streets, but it was a solo errand.

          p.s. I lived.

          p.p.s. About 2 years ago, I was in Vienna late one afternoon trying to figure out what to do for dinner. The streets were almost deserted, when a girl about 7 or 8 with little brother in tow came by with a shopping bag that I recognized as a chain supermarket. In my poor german, I asked where the store was, and without any fuss aside from linquistic, she told me and went on her way. I’d be terrified to even approach a kid of that age to ask for directions in this country for fear that some busybody would assume that I was a perve trying to abduct the kid.

          1. 50 cents for a haircut? How are you still alive? Was Jesus as tall as he looks in the paintings?

            1. That was actually just last week. The fact he looks like Anton Chigurh doesn’t help with the people calling the police whenever he talks to children thing.

    3. Hell, when I was 7

      And when you were 6? 5? 4? Are you claiming there is no line or that 7 exceeds the line?

      As soon as you accept that there’s a line, it gets hazy for most kids under 8. It gets less hazy as kids age, but laws unfortunately work best with bright lines.

      1. And when you were 6? 5? 4? Are you claiming there is no line or that 7 exceeds the line?

        No, I’m claiming it’s none of the government’s fucking business.

        1. No, I’m claiming it’s none of the government’s fucking business.

          We (generally) accept that it’s the government’s business if you infringe upon another person’s rights by attacking that person or otherwise recklessly putting that person in danger of losing life and limb. Why would the same principle not hold when the “other person” is your own child?

          1. Whose rights were infringed upon here? (Prior to the pigs kidnapping the woman’s child)

            Who was in danger?

            1. Kid could’ve stepped on a lego.

              1. That does hurt pretty bad.

              2. Or worse, the kid could have come across some guy eating an ego and tried to grab it, but by the guy wouldn’t let go, with chaos ensuing.

          2. Was the kid scared? Crying for his mother? Or was he playing contentedly? Did he have a “Free to a good home” note safety-pinned to his shirt? Or stapled to his neck?

        2. So you’re equating children with property? Because it appears you’re saying that all laws which seek to protect children from harm are illegitimate. Or if that’s not what you’re saying, what is your line?

          Again, like most things, this is a line drawing exercise. Speaking in absolutes is pointless.

          1. Yes, all laws designed to prevent bad things from happening are illegitimate (perhaps with a few exceptions with regards to nuclear weapons). Laws should punish those responsible for actually making bad things happen.

            The state doesn’t get to decide when my child is old enough to do X. I decide that as the parent.

            1. The state doesn’t get to decide when my child is old enough to do X. I decide that as the parent.

              So if the parent decides their six-year-old is old enough to get drunk with them on the weekends, that’s A-OK?

      2. Wherever my parents drew the line, it meant that their kids were roaming unsupervised for hours at a time well before the age of 7.

        I ask again: were they irresponsible? Should they have been arrested?

    4. Mine was more like a 3-mile radius.

  18. What ever happened to announcing it on the intercom?

    ‘Attention K-Mart deadbeats. Store will close in five minutes. And to the mother who thought it was smart to leave your kid roam the Lego section. Come pick up your fat ugly kid. He’s annoying and finishing up all the doughnuts.” Click.

  19. A close friend, young 40’s had his 7 year old refuse to get into his truck at a store parking lot. In an effort to teach the boy a lesson, he made one lap around the parking lot, something that took < 2 minutes. Someone saw him drive away, and immediately called 911. Well before the overzealous cop arrives, son hops in truck (having learned to get in the truck when dad says to) and they drive away. Dad gets a phone call from cop stating that he needs to give a statement. Dad does, and shortly later is charged with child endangerment facing I think it was 5-7 years in prison.

    Prosecutor decides to drop the charges, but not after having the dad go through the experience of being booked, fingerprinted, charged, his work notified, etc.

    There are two problems here.

    1 is a public that is quick to throw judgement on people without understanding, and could care less about how they affect others or any “big” picture, with the assumption the “system” will work things out.

    2 is a police force that is overzealous and looking to be effective by quantity and control rather than having a meaningful public-desired servant.

    1. 2 is a police force that is overzealous and looking to be effective by quantity and control rather than having a meaningful public-desired servant

      That’s really more of the issue. Cops are more willing to think like authoritarians and less like parents.

    2. Never talk to the police

  20. The lady doesn’t have the right to force the store employees to watch her kid while she shops. It’s a store, not a playground (and before you make the arcade comparison, arcades are making money off kids playing games, and in the old days they tended to kick people out who were loitering and not spending anything)

    That said, the answer should have been for the mall management to clarify the rules, document the incident, and if she keeps doing it, take appropriate measures like banning her from the mall, suing for compensation for the childcare, or whatever. Arrest? No.

    1. That said, the answer should have been for the mall management to clarify the rules, document the incident, and if she keeps doing it,

      They made the call before she came back. So they should never call? Should call after 4 hours? 3?

      And you’re saying they should publish a formal policy? And what, put in on the door? What else should be in that policy? Length of bathroom time. How many times you can walk around the mall? Shit, you can make a million rules up. That’s just not realistic at all.

      1. How about “Children may not be left unattended in store”? Seems pretty darn simple to me. Bonus: I’ve seen that very sign many places in real life.

        1. Or NO LOITERING, which is pretty much what the kid was doing after an hour and twenty minutes of not buying anything.

      2. You’re a lawyer, aren’t you?

        1. No, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

    2. I agree. This sort of thing is a judgment call, and to me, 7 is too young, and an hour and 20 minutes is too long.

      1. To me, neither of those is true.

        1. Well then, don’t leave you kid in the care of random people without asking them first. Some of them may have differing opinions on what’s appropriate than you, and as you didn’t obtain their cooperation in advance, they’re under no obligation to defer to your judgement on the matter.

          1. Precisely.

          2. The child wasn’t “left” with anyone. He was simply alone and still the responsibility of the parent.

            1. He was on private property and instructed to stay there until his mom got back. The mother left her kid there (by all accounts) without permission from the store staff.

              If someone came and left their kid on your lawn for a couple hours, how exactly would you feel about it?

              I understand that there is a case to be made that public stores give some sort of “implied permission” for people to visit the premises, but I would counter that any such implied contract is limited to “for the purpose of buying something” not “for the purpose of giving my kids shit to play with for an hour”. And in the case where there is some grey area of what is implied/not implied, it is the mother’s job to ask.

              Do I think the kid/mom should be put through the wringer for some sort of “child endangerment”? No. But as I said above, that business is in a tough spot since they could find themselves liable if something bad did happen to the kid.

              1. He was on private property and instructed to stay there until his mom got back. The mother left her kid there (by all accounts) without permission from the store staff.

                He did have permission. It’s on the front door:

                Store Hours
                M-F 8AM-6PM

                If someone came and left their kid on your lawn for a couple hours, how exactly would you feel about it?

                I do not invite the general public to visit my lawn.

                I understand that there is a case to be made that public stores give some sort of “implied permission” for people to visit the premises, but I would counter that any such implied contract is limited to “for the purpose of buying something”

                a. It’s not “implied”, it IS an invitation.
                b. You ever go window shopping in another store while the wife is trying on shoes without intention to buy?

                If the owner didn’t want him there, he could have asked him to leave.

                But as I said above, that business is in a tough spot since they could find themselves liable if something bad did happen to the kid.

                The store owner is no more responsible for that child than he is for me, while in his store.

                I refuse to accept the premise that a child is in danger simply because he is without supervision. That is complete and utter bullshit.

                1. Owned

                2. He did have permission. It’s on the front door:

                  Store Hours
                  M-F 8AM-6PM

                  Posting the hours that your establishment is open for business does not operate as a general-purpose invitation for harried parents to use the store as a free drop-in daycare service for their misbegotten offspring.

                  Like you I very much doubt the kid was in any particular danger simply because he was unsupervised. But if you drop your kid off on someone else’s private property, you’re running the risk that the property owner, in lieu of simply asking the kid to leave, will call the cops, who may in turn arrest you for leaving your kid unsupervised.

                  Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

                  1. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

                    Bingo. Some of the so-called “libertarians” blooing about this seem to be more invested in nothing ever inconveniencing them than in considering the potential consequences of their actions.

                    The woman getting arrested was bullshit. Mall security could have simply paged her, warned her not to leave her kid unsupervised, and left it at that. However, it’s the height of obtuseness to think that a parent leaving their seven-year-old kid alone at the toy store for over an hour isn’t going to eventually get noticed by the employees.

  21. Anyone that thinks the proper outcome was an arrest can go fuck themselves.

    1. This. What purpose does an arrest serve?

      The child was left alone. Employees called the authorities. The child was restored to the parent- happy ending?

      But then child taken from parent, as the parent is locked away. Why isn’t the outcome a ticket, or child rearing classes, or community service or some other disincentive to leaving the child alone?

  22. You guys gonna love this story. It’s not related but it has to do with city workers – garbage pick up specifically. It’s a little longish so stick with me.

    It’s a while now the garbage guys put my neighbors trash can on my driveway. They go so fast they pick up as the truck moves along with the dumping ending up on my end. One time it was in the middle of my driveway and had to get out of my Jeep to move it. Pissed me off.

    So today I was washing the Jeep and took the opportunity to politely mention it to the guy. Well. He took it bad. Saying in French ‘c’est pas la fin du monde.’ It’s not the end of the world. I responded by saying ‘no, but I’d appreciate it nonetheless.’

    Dude decides he wants to escalate it by giving me glares of which I kindly obliged.

    Instead of just saying ‘no problem, sorry’ he goes all union city worker idiotic on me.

    Now I’m in ‘should I call the city’ to complain mode? I have zero faith in my city to do the right thing and lo and behold, the girl taking the complaint was one notch better than this asshole. She said she didn’t want to ‘make a big deal of it’ and that these are garbage workers so you should expect they speak that way.

    I was floored. I didn’t realize city garbage workers didn’t have a duty to be polite and civil.

    (cont.)

  23. I’m forced, much to my annoyance to call my city councilor with a ‘what the fuck”? It was disappointing.

    All for a stupid issue that could have been solved with a simple ‘no problem.’

    Right now, things aren’t good in Quebec at all. Bus drivers are protesting; saw one in a Hawaiian shirt, cops are protesting wearing camouflage pants, and city workers acting like unprofessional hacks.

    Shit.

    1. Would it work to put your can off to the side, so that after they empty it, it ends up in the right place?

      1. I don’t have cans. That’s the thing.

    2. Make cookies. Give them to all garbage men, except the asshole, in front of the asshole. Tell him he can’t have cookies because he is an asshole. Laugh in his face.

      But then… I’m a jerk.

      1. Hm.

        I think you may be on to something.

    3. Things aren’t good in the most socialist part of a socialist country? Shocking.

  24. You know who should be arrested? Legos, for making all those bullshit official movie-themed by-the-numbers products instead of just selling a bunch of random blocks. Kids should use their imaginations not instruction manuals that are confusing and frustrating causing me to lose my temper and knock over my favorite lamp.

    1. Lego should be arrested for the damage they’ve done to my feet and patella tendons. Those little fuckers hurt.

    2. They sell both. You can actually buy Legos by the brick on their website too.

  25. When I worked at Guitar Center, I kinda wished someone would arrest parents* who dropped their kids off to wank on guitars all day.

    *not really. But kinda.

    1. Isn’t public masturbation already a crime?

  26. I can remember the days when some employee would ask the kid for their parent’s name, then call the parent on the loudspeaker.

    “Will Mrs sarc please come to the Lego Store. Mrs sarc to the Lego Store please.”

  27. As a kid, when I got lost in a big store I would find a worker, be brought to an office, and someone would announce over the loudspeaker where I was so I could be picked up.
    I guess today, the worker’s boss would call the cops and a swat team would arrive to arrest my guardian.

    1. And a shockingly high number of people, commenting here, cannot bring themselves to object to the proposition that any parent who allows their 7 year old child to leave their sight is irresponsible and puts the child at risk.

      At that point, I’m not sure how they get to “but the parent shouldn’t be arrested.”

      1. It all depends. A kid that age playing in the park next door with friends would probably be fine. Being left in the store alone for 5-10 minutes, also fine. But an hour and 20 minutes in a mall store seems too long, and an arrest seems too severe.

      2. 7 year old child to leave their sight is irresponsible and puts the child at risk

        Again…talking in absolutes. Let’s try this again.

        * leave their sight … for an hour
        * leave their sight … for two hours
        * leave their sight … overnight
        * leave their sight … for a week

        Are you claiming there is no line? If not, fucking draw the line instead of harping.

        1. If not, fucking draw the line instead of harping.

          See, you’re demanding each individual draw a line that applies for every other individual. Most of us here believe we draw our own lines, and it’s none of your fucking business what our lines are.

          1. Look, if you believe that 100% of preventative injury laws are invalid, then just say so. That’s fine. I’m not making a judgement call.

            But that’s also not the world we live in.

        2. MP – you’re the one insisting on absolutes so that the matter can be turned into one of enforcement.

          1. My belief is that child endangerment is a legitimate crime and that the boundaries of it are hard to define. How is that an argument for absolutes? If you don’t believe that child endangerment is a legitimate crime. But don’t go around spouting stories about how you used to hunt bare naked for moose when you were four to feed your blind parents.

            1. If you cannot define a crime’s boundaries, how can you declare it legitimate?

              1. I never claimed I couldn’t. Monocle is dancing around the existence of such boundaries. At least Francisco has had the guts to come out and say that preventative harm laws are illegitimate.

                1. At least Francisco has had the guts to come out and say that preventative harm laws are illegitimate.

                  Right, I’m saying essentially the same thing by asking you why *you* get to arbitrarily decide what’s legit and what isn’t, but you refuse to see that.

              2. Also, baldness does not actually exist, since we cannot specify an exact number of hairs delimiting when one becomes bald.

                1. No, but studies have been done on when the balding guy becomes invisible to 20 year old women and is thus bald.

            2. * leave their sight … for an hour
              * leave their sight … for two hours
              * leave their sight … overnight
              * leave their sight … for a week

              Are you claiming there is no line? If not, fucking draw the line instead of harping.

              Drawing the line = absolute

              1. Drawing the line = absolute

                Law is by it’s nature grey. Even with a high level of specificity, it is still grey.

                The absence of a law is the absolute. Either you’re advocating for the non-existence of the law or you are engaging in line drawing.

                1. Law is by it’s nature grey.

                  Actually, it’s the exact opposite. Either something is a crime, or it isn’t. The Law exists to provide a clear frame for knowing which is which.

                2. Law is by it’s nature grey. Even with a high level of specificity, it is still grey.

                  Therein lies the problem, MP. Preventative harm laws progressively consume liberty, for that very reason.

                  What was once common practice, is now illegal because the definition of endangerment keeps shrinking as people become bigger and bigger pussies, which means more power flows away from the parents and to the state.

                  They also ensure that one can be breaking the law, without ever knowing they are breaking the law, giving the state the ability to arrest you at any time for anything and leaving it up to the opinion of 12 people whether a law was broken.

                  I find it completely fucking absurd to claim that this child was ever IN danger. He was simply alone. Yet the pussies of the world have conflated danger with what might, could, may, possibly sometime, in the right circumstances happen.

                  Simply don’t make such laws, and no line is needed.

            3. Please describe a situation that would warrant charges of child endangerment. If nothing you describe is a violation of some other law, you are merely trying to criminalize the legal choices some parent makes with which you disagree.

              1. Well shit, that’s easily. If I stop in the middle of I-95 and leave a toddler in their carseat in the middle of the road, that’s child endangerment. It’s irrelevant if they get hit or not. If they get hit, that’s a whole new crime.

                1. Is it legal for me to place an empty carseat in the middle of I-95?

                  1. Is it legal for me to place an empty carseat in the middle of I-95?

                    The reason there are different crimes for similar/overlapping actions is there are different penalties. But I guess in your world, as long as we keep everyone safe except for fucking minors then we’re good to go.

                    1. I don’t think most of us believe fucking minors should be legal.

                    2. How does a child endangerment statute prevent someone from placing an infant in the middle of a highway? It doesn’t because anyone who would do such a thing is clearly insane and any concept of deterrence is pointless. If any deterrence is necessary to prevent a sane person from doing such a thing, it is provided by the murder charge that is an obvious consequence of such an action.

                      So instead of child protection laws preventing the slaughter of infants on the nation’s highways, it is used by authoritarian fucksticks like yourself to criminalize the marginal choices of people you don’t like.

        3. Wherever the line is for deeming that leaving a child alone is child neglect that justifies an arrest, its nowhere near leaving a 7 year old alone in a toy store for 80 minutes.

          Based on my personal experience, I would say that the line should be drawn for 7 year old children at the earlier of sundown or closing time (if its a store).

          1. Based on my personal experience, I would say that the line should be drawn for 7 year old children at the earlier of sundown or closing time (if its a store).

            Well there you go. Now have fun writing that law.

        4. How many grains of sand do you need to put together before you can call it a pile?

      3. cannot bring themselves to object to the proposition that any parent who allows their 7 year old child to leave their sight is irresponsible and puts the child at risk

        Well there’s irresponsible parenting and then there’s irresponsible parenting. One can warrant the intrusion of the state, while the other does not.

        1. Just so.

          And I think the proposition that any parent who allows their 7 year old child to leave their sight is irresponsible and puts the child at risk is pure lunacy.

    2. Sorry, but the store manager has the right to report an underage kid in his store. 7 is pretty young. I’d inquire myself if I saw a kid alone for that much time. Where the report takes it is not the manager’s decision or problem. Liability for the kid is, though.

  28. So what the fuck do blind parents do? Are they locked up if they take their hands off their kids?

    Don’t give me shit about being within earshot either. The mythical child abductor can easily clap a hand over the kids mouth before kidnapping him.

    Is there some sort of penalty for me as a regular citizen if I don’t call the police if I see a kid and his blind parent not in physical contact with each other?

  29. I went to kindergarten in Milwaukee on the north side back in ’63. I walked home from school alone everyday. Ten blocks. In the present day, they’d have SWATed my mother.

  30. wank on guitars all day.

    You couldn’t get them for public indecency?

    1. It was more of a musical-masturbation.

  31. An hour and 20 minutes is a really long time….

    1. Enough time to rape and murder a kid. Good thing the child wasn’t left alone with a family member or a neighbor.

  32. All unattended children will be given a free kitten.

    No more problem.

  33. There are few things in life I hate more than parents who let their children run amok and force other responsible people to become free babysitters. But the idea that an unattended 7-year-old is in imminent danger in a public space like a retail store is pure bullshit.

    Without taking the time to read the story, I have no idea if the kid in question was an angel bothering nobody or a devil destroying everything in site. Yet even if the kid was a monster, an arrest for endangerment is still uncalled for.

    1. I tend to agree. But I think there’s at least room for debate. You simply can’t say that unattended at any age for any amount of time is free from substantial risk. When does that risk become insubstantial? That’s the debate.

      1. You simply can’t say that unattended at any age for any amount of time is free from substantial risk. When does that risk become insubstantial? That’s the debate.

        How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

        Fuck this mental masturbation. The case at hand is clear. There was no endangerment. Period.

        Boogiemen that steal little children are exceedingly rare. Crimes against children are almost always committed by family members or friends of the family.

        1. The statistics are obvious. A kid left alone at the mall for an hour and a half is far safer that a kid left with the crazy uncle at home.

    2. The 7 year old was not in imminent danger. He was, however, trespassing.

      1. He was, however, trespassing.

        Nothing in the summary above supports that contention.

      2. He was, however, trespassing.

        One could make that argument. But what does trespassing have to do with child endangerment?

      3. He wasn’t trespassing unless he was asked to leave. It’s a store. You are invited in.

        1. Retail store, during normal hours, open to the public. Unless that child was causing a problem and was asked to leave, there was no trespass.

          1. Yeah, I’m kind of flabbergasted at all of the people who think that a kid hanging out in a toy store is some kind of unusual imposition on the store.

            1. And all those people are equally flabbergasted at all the people who apparently assume that anyone not explictly saying “hey get that kid out of here” the momment they see them is volunteering to become a suprise babysitter.

              1. Also think of what the business would go through if they DID ask the kid to leave and something happened to the kid- or hell, the kid just went somewhere else. Then mom comes back and freaks out at the store, making a scene in front of other customers about how this store has put her child in endangerment.

          2. Can’t we just PRETEND it is thursday? C’mon guys.

            1. Did you just call me a troll?

              1. uggggg…THIS is why threading sucks. (Hold strong Brooks)

                Where would you have liked me to place it Ken? There appear to be only two trolls on today…one in this thread. Please use your judgment.

                1. I just wondered if I had said something to piss you off Mr Bandit. I don’t recall exchanging harsh words with you in the past.

                  I can be slow to take a hint though, so if you are encouraging me to ignore Stormy, I’ll get right on that.

                  1. yes the not was for you and Frank to pretend it is thursday not that you are the Reason I want it to be thursday.

                    1. not = note…FUCK

                    2. I will forthwith send my urchin to slap with white glove your urchin and we shall have them duel at dawn…The winner gets to be left unattended in the nearest lego store while we drink craft beer and eat artisanal mayonnaise on deep dish calzones.

                    3. I accept your proposal.

          3. Loitering.

            1. Unless you are on private property where the owner has made it clear that loitering is not OK, loitering is a bullshit charge too.

      4. Hhhhmm. Have any kids? Would you leave them alone in a mall these days?

    3. That’s what has me thinking something might be missing from this story, even after reading the original article. Similar stores that I’ve been to are pretty much mad-houses with kids and adults packed in together. I don’t know how anyone would be able to determine whether a kid was accompanied by a parent or not, so how, exactly, was it determined that the kid was left unattended? I’m curious to know if he was maybe acting up or causing some sort of problem. Granted, arresting the mom still isn’t justified, but if the store employees were having to “babysit” the kid to keep him out of trouble, that would definitely be annoying as hell. I had no qualms about leaving my kids in a store at this age for an hour or so while I got some shopping done, but they were well-behaved so didn’t draw attention to themselves.

  34. I would really love the police to explain how endangered this child actually was, in a public place, surrounded by employees, shoppers, and security (and LEGO superheroes!).

    Two words: Adam Walsh.

    /police

  35. Gotta wonder what the purpose of criminal prosecution in a case like this (the child endangerment, not the larceny) is. Obviously taking the mother away from the child or vice versa doesn’t improve the world; that’d be lose-lose just for the court time, let alone any incarceration or forced alienation of the child. But there’s no deterrent effect either in cases like this, because there are no clear boundaries to child endangerment. Nobody should change behavior because of a public “warning” like this that you could be criminally charged, because the odds of its happening are infinitesimal, because the chance of behavior like that being cited as criminal is so small. You might as well go by the parental admonition to spank randomly because the kid is sure to deserve punishment for things you don’t even know about.

    1. Foster parents don’t work for free. Makes me wonder if they lobby legislators to craft legislation that gives the state more power to take children away from irresponsible biological parents, so the well paid professionals can raise them properly.

      1. Seems like if anything there is a shortage of foster parents, so that doesn’t seem too likely.

        I’d guess it is more “good intentions are all that matters” bullshit. Saving the children is good, so legislators want to pass laws that are meant to protect children regardless of whether it will be effective or not. Very few people go back and check to see whether the well intentioned laws that their legislators voted for actually did anyone any good.

        1. It’s probably the daycare lobby then. You know, the people who want it to be a crime for kids congregate in some neighbor’s yard instead of the daycare getting paid.

          1. That wouldn’t be so surprising. Especially with more and more public pre-school and kindergarten getting the teachers unions involved in the whole situation. How long until kids not enrolled in public pre-school are considered truant?

            1. Things like this, along with the McDonalds lady who left her kid in the park and the lady hasseled for barbecuing on the sidewalk, are all the work of the same well-off-statist-busy-body brigade.

              The above referenced parents obviously should have left their kids with their nannies, and the barbecue lady should have had her butler cook up those burgers in her back yard while they chilled next to the pool sipping wine.

    2. It’s so obvious what should have happened here: The store manager or mall security should have had a word with the mother on her return. Told her not to leave young unaccompanied kid alone in store. Mom gets embarrassed and never does it again. AND NOTHING ELSE WOULD HAPPEN.

      1. The store manager or mall security should have had a word with the mother on her return.

        So now the store is beholden to waste resources watching this kid until mom returns? What happens after two hours? 4? At what point should they make a decision to escalate? What should that escalation be?

        As noted above, a store that has a policy where it tolerates a kid being on their premises unsupervised ( even a policy of waiting for the mom then telling her to stop) could easily find itself in court if anything happened to that kid, since that policy admits that they are going to knowingly allow an un-accompanied minor on their premises.

        Frankly, I don’t have a problem with the store deciding an hour is too long, calling security or if they don’t have security, calling the cops. Now should the cops charge the mom with endangerment? No. Should they charge the mom with Inducing Minors to Loiter? Perhaps.

        1. Did you miss the part where I said “or mall security”?

          Yeah, I actually don’t have a problem with the store employee calling mall security or even if they call the cops after an hour or so. I object to escalating this from “this lady needs a talking to” to “Arrest the bitch!!”

          Sometimes people do stupid things, shocking, I know. Doing stupid things shouldn’t necessarily get you arrested, though.

        2. So now the store is beholden to waste resources watching this kid until mom returns?

          You are under the delusion that the kid needs any attention at all.

          1. What F d’A said.

          2. Bertrum suggested that the staff wait till the mom gets back to the store. Well if they are going to do that, they need someone keeping an eye on the kid, waiting for the point when they get back. In a small store where everyone is in proximity, that is easy. But in a large store where kids, shelving and other stuff gets in the way, it actually can be a pretty big hassle.

            No, I am under the correct impression that a store with these types of policies would find itself sued into the ground the first time some kid wandered off with a wacko, or otherwise came to harm.

            I certainly wish this weren’t the case, but it is true.

            If this mom left her kid at the public park or at home I would be in exactly the same place as you- no harm, no foul. My problem isn’t with “Kid endangerment” it is in suggesting that the private business is an appropriate place to leave the kid.

            1. No, I am under the correct impression that a store with these types of policies would find itself sued into the ground the first time some kid wandered off with a wacko, or otherwise came to harm.

              JUST as the store would be sued if an adult came to harm.

      2. The store manager or mall security should have had a word with the mother on her return

        At the most. The best possible thing is for EVERYONE to quit their fucking pearl clutching and man the fuck up.

      3. Or the store manager could have shoved little Juan out the door, telling him, “Little boys can’t be in the store without their mommies or daddies. Off you go!

        The store manager was under zip obligation to supervise another’s child without prior agreement.

        To force the store manager to do so, which is what Patricia Juarez did, as well as your proposal, is nothing more than violation of the NAP.

      4. That’s so 1950’s. LOL.

        (I agree with you.)

  36. Wow. I’ve sorta done this. Now, my sons were older – probably 8 and 10 – and both had cell phones AND I left them for more like 20 minutes, not 90, but still. AND we almost always bought something because both were Lego maniacs. Still.

    1. I don’t know where you live, but in my state you cannot legally leave a kid under twelve without supervision. Unless you want the state to take them away and lock you in a cage. That means your ten year old cannot legally be at home alone for an hour or two between when school gets out and when you get out of work. Good news for daycare.

      1. I’m in Jersey but don’t know the law.

        It’s insane to think a 12 year old can’t be left home for 2 hours, though. Especially with cell phones making instant contact possible. At 12 I had a friggin job.

        I detasseled corn in the summer and babysat in the winter.

        1. All of which is illegal today. If it was a free country when I was a kid compared to today, and it was a free country when my parents were kids compared to when I was a kid, I hate to imagine what kind of dystopia my kid will grow up to live in.

          1. No kidding. They actually passed a law in my city that makes it illegal for kids to play in neighborhood streets. Later, an amendment was passed that allowed it in culdesacs only and at least 100 feet from an intersection. The stupidity is astounding.

      2. OMFG sarc, where do you fucking live?

        1. Maine.

          1. I thought Maine was one of the cool states.

            So an 11 yo can’t go to the park or ride his bike without you being there?

            Okay, I quit. There is no hope for humanity.

            1. Maine seems to do a lot of knee-jerk “for the children” crap.

              The coolness of Maine lies in the fact that large parts of it are fantastically beautiful or have very few people. (any Maine residents please correct me if I am off base)

        2. Yeah. If you’ve got school kids under twelve and you work first shift, by law the kids must go to daycare. What really sucks is the daycare we use is five hundred yards down the road into the next town, and some bitch on the school council won’t let the bus go there. Instead it must around across the street. So when she goes to school we need a new daycare, or my wife gets a job working third shift. Fucking sucks all around.

      3. Fuck. I was left at home babysitting my younger brother at 10. And there were quite a few “latchkey kids” in my elementary school. Most of them survived as far as I can recall. What is the world coming to? There are a lot of times I think I’d like to have kids, but this sort of shit really helps push me back in the other direction.

        1. At home is different. This started because the manager noticed the unaccompanied kid.

    2. I have no problem with that. They were older, there were two of them, and for a much shorter time.

  37. Last night when we were feeding meal worms to the leopard gecko, the four year old said she’d like to eat one. I said go for it, and to my surprise she popped the thing right into her mouth. Mom freaked out and made the kid spit it out. I laughed.

    I hope CPS never hears that story.

    1. My wife would have yelled at me for not warning her so she could get the camera. Of course our 4 yo likes to taunt her food…when we catch fish she stands over it and says “I am going to eat you.”

      1. Nice. My kid likes fish (no thanks to her mom) but she also likes to call animals her friends. At a bbq the other weekend she admonished a little boy for killing a bee. “You can’t kill bees or flies or beetles! They’re my friends!” And she was vehement about it. It was pretty funny. But then she eats a meal worm. Kids are strange.

    2. I hope CPS never hears that story.

      I had a casual acquaintance on FB post a picture of his kid with scotch tape over his mouth in the backseat of the car with a caption to the effect of “Now we’ll get some quiet!”.

      It was obviously in fun. But I told him he should immediately take it down.

      It’s seriously dangerous to be a parent nowadays.

  38. Let’s look at the big picture. The store can’t carry the burden of risk of the unattended child, not just the child being whisked in to the white slave trade or having their eyes marketed on the black market, it is insurance and the government’s (and juries’) affects. And perhaps even women like this mother. If the kid had gotten a lego caught in his/her throat and died, she’d be suing for millions. So much of our world today is sculpted by actuarial tables – the government forces insurance carriers to pay huge judgements, rates go up, businesses can’t afford the hike, insurance company tells them what to do (so we have draconian rules in place (and dry over cooked hamburgers as an example)) and everyone turns back to government as the insurer/adjuster/intermediary of first and last resort.

    No way a kid should be left to the care of strangers, so not supporting that, but the reality is we have a world where the statistical tail wags the dog, small populations of “bad” come with huge price tags, and The Commons’ liberty shrinks. The vast bulk of the bell curve has to get shoved through the hoops and red tape because of the insane costs associated with the 4th+ standard deviation from the mean.

    1. The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers. -BS

  39. My mom used to drop me off at the library as a child when she went shopping.
    It’s kind of free babysitting.

    But I sympathize with the business owner here. Free babysitting isn’t their job. And if having unsupervised children in the store interfere with operating their business they are within their rights to stop people from doing it.

    Having the mom ARRESTED is a bit much. They could have simply told the Mom not to leave her child alone, or that if she left her kid there again they would not be responsible for what happened. Or call the cops if it happened again.

    1. I think they called the cops because the child seemed to be alone.

    2. You can’t “have someone arrested”; it’s the cops’ judgement call whether to arrest. Blame the cops, not the store owner.

  40. Your argument suffers when ages get down to 7. I would notice an unaccompanied 7 year old and worry. The store owner did right.

  41. Many years ago I worked in a bicycle shop. Parents would drop kids off then return a couple of hours later. The owner had to pull a few parents aside and explain that we were not the local day-care center.
    Arrested by the state ?? Stop.

  42. The mom violated the NAP. She pushed her kid rearing upon another without gaining agreement. End of story, hypocrite Reasonoids (inauthentic libertarians).

    That said, whatever happened to the days of a PA Address system? Mrs. Juarez please come to the information booth. Your Juan is lost.

    Mrs. Juarez seems self-indulgent and selfish. Someone should have told Mrs. Juarez that when you become a mom or a dad, or life as it was (shopping for yourself, living for yourself) is over.

    1. The mom violated the NAP.

      No she didn’t. She left her kid to his own devices.

      1. On someone else’s private property.

        1. The child was invited by the sign on the door:

          Store hours

          M-F 8-6

          1. Doesn’t matter. A store can remove a person if they are a nuisance. I.e. drunk, naked, pan-handling, etc.

            An unaccompanied child can be a nuisance by their very presence, because the store staff is going to feel obligated to watch them, which interferes with doing their actual job.

            1. Didn’t say they couldn’t. Ask him to leave, instead of the pearl clutching of calling a cop because you don’t happen to agree with another’s parenting decisions.

              1. The store may not have kicked out the kid for two reasons. First, it’s not a responsible or nice thing to do; the kid would have been scared or confused, and the mother would have panicked when she got back. Second, in our litigious society, it might have exposed the store to liability claims if anything had happened to the kid.

                This is what cops are responsible for. Of course, the cops should have given the mother a good talking to and then let her go; arresting her was a little much, unless she has a history of doing this kind of stuff.

              2. Ask him to leave, instead of the pearl clutching of calling a cop because you don’t happen to agree with another’s parenting decisions.

                If you think a store owner is going to risk liability by kicking out a seven-year-old kid without knowing where the parents are, you’re fucking delusional.

                You seem more butt-hurt by the notion that others won’t make your life an inconvenience-free haven.

          2. The posted store hours are an invitation for prospective customers to enter the premises for the specific purpose of commerce.

            They’re not offering free drop-in daycare service for shitty parents.

          3. The child lacks capacity as well as authority. Thus child cannot enter into contracts.

            All jurists would agree that a store’s owner isn’t making offer to a minor child and no minor child can give acceptance.

            Thus, never could there be a valid contract.

            The child lacks capacity as well as authority. Thus child cannot enter into contracts.

      2. “She left her kid to his own devices.”

        ~ Francisco d’Anconia

        Exactly. That’s called abandonment. There is law against that in every state.

        Under Anglo-Norman-American jurisprudence, the child lacks capacity.

  43. Child to clerk: I need to go to the baffroom
    Clerk: where is your mommy?
    Child: I dunno
    Clerk: did she say when she’ll come back?
    Child: nuh-uh
    Clerk: we don’t have a bathroom in the store, and I can’t leave the store to take you there. A nice man is going to come here and help you
    Child: goodie!
    Clerk to security: please come here, we may have a problem

  44. Leave your 7 yr. old kid somewhere for an hour 1/2. That is neglect. This parent is an idiot. I hope this moron got her tubes tied.

  45. I work in a bookstore and management has asked that we locate the guardian of a young child if we see them alone. This is less of a store liability issue but one of child safety in the instance some sick person comes along and takes that child. I spend time talking to the kids in an effort to locate their parents and let them know that they cannot leave their children unattended, most respond favorably.

    To the bigot above most of the unattended children are white.

    Often though, I find that parents have dropped their kids off to let us babysit children as young as four years old. Personally, I am in favor of calling the authorities if the parents are not on the premises because I do not want to run the risk that I cannot protect that child due to actually doing my job.

    Last week I had a mother encourage her very young son to wander while she was on her computer. After telling her once, to her great annoyance,that she had to keep him near her,I had to tell her a second time after I waited outside the men’s room door to make sure he was ok and return him, again, to him mother. I told her she would be unable to stay in the store if she continued to allow him to run free.

    Risk is an important part of growing up,of learning boundaries,of learning how to make decisions and to take personal responsibility and I encourage all parents to let their children engage in measured risk situations. But, do not leave your children unattended in an area not designed for that purpose.

    1. Well reasoned.

    2. Risk is an important part of growing up,of learning boundaries,of learning how to make decisions and to take personal responsibility and I encourage all parents to let their children engage in measured risk situations. But, do not leave your children unattended in an area not designed for that purpose.

      Exactly. Too many people on this thread seem to think that parents aren’t required to set any sort of boundaries on their children, and that no one else should, either. It’s extremely anti-social and displays a profound ignorance about how communities attempt to achieve stability.

  46. A lot of people seem to have the mistaken impression that because certain toy stores look like fun places for kids to hang out, that that is an invitation to leave your children there, without telling anyone in the store that you’re going to do that.

    I actually think this is kind of a cowardly assumption, since you can simply ASK someone in the store if it is ok. But, because babysitting costs money and is a pain in the ass to arrange, you don’t want to take the risk of getting a “NO”. So people just leave their children and sneak off and hope nobody in the store notices. Or convince themselves it’s fine, to avoid feeling guilty about it. It’s cheap either way.

    Lesson: If you want to leave your kid in the toy store unaccompanied, ask the fucking clerk if that’s ok. Maybe they will say yes. Maybe you can come to some arrangement. Maybe they charge a small fee. Maybe they have some rules about how long you can leave them for and how old your child has to be. It’s their fucking store and they have a right to decide those things.

    1. Agreed.

  47. Had the mother not had an outstanding warrant, she probably wouldn’t have been arrested. They will probably drop the abandonment charge if she pleads guilty to the other charge. This is how the criminal justice system works. They charge you with everything they can think of and then offer a plea bargain.

  48. This isn’t about free range kids, it’s about a mother imposing rudely on someone else. If anything had happened to the kid, the mother would have sued their pants off. If someone had abducted the kid, she would have held the store responsible. And if the kid had damaged anything, she would have disclaimed all responsibility. The store owner couldn’t even have kicked the kid out without running the risk of getting sued.

    As a store owner, I would have called the police too: it’s the only responsible thing to do. The correct charge should really be trespassing.

    1. There is a difference between bad etiquette and something criminal.

  49. Mommy can I go play?
    Well let’s find a bureaucrat to find to ask if it’s okay.
    Death before enslavement.

    1. Mommy can I go play [on someone else’s private property]?

      Well let’s find [the owner of the private property or one of his/her representatives] to ask if it’s okay.

      FIFY

  50. She should sue the lego store for providing an unsafe environment for children since management has admitted that it is unsafe for a child to play there.

  51. What passes for authority in this dying culture has proven itself inept, corrupt and self-serving.

    In 1962, when I was 4, my mother shopped at Bon Marche, the management set up what I now know was a (monophonic) Altec-Lansing ‘Voice of the Theather’ loudspeaker powered by McIntosh amplifier to play classical music, one on each floor. My mother would sit me on the settee provided near-by while she shopped. She said she would, and could, shop for hours, and that I’d never move from the spot. To this day I know hundreds of classical works, not by their titles, composers or conductors, but by memory.

    Children don’t need to be tethered to their parents like untrustworthy dogs.
    How else can they grow into the person they need to be?
    Perhaps this explains why they won’t move out of the house at age 28?

  52. You all people are really stupid for defending the mother. Seriously a 7 year old! I have a seven year old. No way I would ever leave her alone in a store. Let alone for 1.5 hours. When you go to the gym or even ikea, you have to sign documents emergency contact number etc. What if there was a fire, bomb threat, or even a health emergency. No one would know where to contact the mother. It’s not like they have an intercom like Walmart where everyone can hear. And people say oh in the past we used to do this and that… well it’s not the past anymore. People wear seat belts now and they didn’t in the past. Times change. It is a more dangerous place than it used to be.

  53. There actually IS a Lego Store policy about children being left unattended. It was put into place a few months back, and states that the manager-on-duty is to use their own discretion on how long they wait before reporting unsupervised (by a parent or guardian) children to the security office. They are to ask the child if they know where their mom/dad/guardian of some kind is and when they’ll be back, and if the response is “No” or something vague, then they consider making the call. Lego stores are not free-range daycare centers no matter how many people think they are. Until it is officially announced that The Lego Group embraces the idea of wild children roaming about without any kind of supervision (or starts making people sign in/pay employees extra for childcare services), then they are not legally in charge of even keeping an eye on your child. Of course they’ll make sure that any obvious instance occurs is handled properly, but subtle things like abduction, or your child eating something that another child brings into the store because you left them alone? That’s not in the job description, and cannot be handled without hiring on a staff member solely to watch children. Said employees have -many- tasks that have to be performed each day, and are actually admonished if they simply sit behind the register twiddling their thumbs, rather than constantly staying busy with one task or another.

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