Free-Range Kids

Mom Arrested for 'Abandoning' Kids in Food Court While She Watched Them from 30 Yards Away

Child services to the rescue.



A woman let her two young children wait in a mall food court while she interviewed for a job a mere 30 yards away. The children never left her sight.

This made little difference to the police, who promptly arrested her for child abandonment.

Child protective services is looking into the matter, according to KHOU:

Laura Browder said she had her 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son with her at Memorial City Mall for a job interview because she didn't have enough time to line up child care. Browder sat her children down inside the food court near a McDonald's and went to her interview, she said. The interview wasn't for a job at the mall, but the food court was a meeting ground for each party.

Browder said she wasn't more than 30 feet away from her children at any point and they were always in her line of sight. After Browder returned to her children, a police officer was on scene and arrested her.

The arrest came moments after Browder had accepted a job. She said she's unsure how her arrest that day will affect her opportunity with that job.

CPS officials said they're still in the early stages of their investigation, but added they could offer services to help Browder find suitable daycare.

Thankfully, I expect that the tons of media attention will save the mom from losing her hard-fought new job. What's great is that the whole country seems to have woken up to the idea that "unsupervised for a short time" does not equal, "In such terrible danger that only an awful parent would ever let this happen." (See the federal legislation from Thursday.)

Mom released the following statement:

"This was very unfortunate this happened. I had a interview with a very great company with lots of career growth. I am a college student and mother of two. I would never put my name, background or children in harms way intentionally. I have a promising future ahead of me regardless of what the media tries to portray me as."

NEXT: Obama Administration Thinks People on Social Security Who Have Others Handling Their Finances Shouldn't Have Guns

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  1. OK, So let’s start asking the cops, “When I was a kid, kids roamed free, and nobody got kidnapped, nobody got dragged off to white slavery.” So how badly have you cops fucked up that kids are being kidnapped from food courts in broad daylight?

    1. “Furtive Movement! I’m afraid for my life” *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *reload* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam* *blam*

      /and nothing else happened.

  2. Authorities know that children can be abducted by strangers at any time, and CPS is working very hard right now to prove it.

    1. Well said. Can I borrow your sunglasses?

      1. Looks like this mother…

        [dons sunglasses]

        …just got fucked.

        1. Gawd, I really want to hear David Caruso say this exact line.

      2. This lady’s going from the food court…

        [dons sunglasses]

        …straight to the municipal court.

        1. Your sunglasses seem to have trouble staying on your face. Have you thought about getting the fit adjusted?

          1. I guess this guy doesn’t know the protection…

            [dons sunglasses]

            …multiple pairs of sunglasses offer.

          2. Perhaps an Opti-grab?

            1. Are they still around??? I heard they got their pants sued off.

              Gotta go pick out a thermos.

      3. She didn’t know the most important job she has…

        [dons sunglasses]

        …is being a mother.

    2. I think on come here to read the comments and banter more than the stories. You guys have lmao!!

      1. Opps, ***have me lmao

  3. Units of measurement are a bitch to translate

    1. Imagine if it had happened in Canada. It would have been 30 leagues. Now THAT might have justified intervention.

    2. In the Food Court proper We use yards rahter than feet.

      It is far more dignified given that victuals are in the vicinity.

      Have a mead on me, good Sir.

    3. Was it 30 yards or 30 feet?

  4. Wow. Just fucking… Wow.

    I must know more- did the cops see the kid themselves, or is this the result of some busybody dipshit who probably thinks of themselves as some kind of hero?

    Have we all gone mad? How did we allow this to happen?

    The world is safer now than it ever has been, and we are more scared if it than ever.

    Why are so many people so convinced that danger and catastrophy are not just possibly, but probably lurking around every corner?

    Where did we get this crazy, hubristic notion that; even if that were the case, it could be anticipated and avoided?

    And why, oh why is arresting people and ruining lives our preferred response?

    These are not rhetorical questions, a la Andrew Nepolitano- I really want to know.
    Can someone please explain?

    1. Why are so many people so convinced that danger and catastrophy are not just possibly, but probably lurking around every corner?

      The pants-shitting media.

    2. And why, oh why is arresting people and ruining lives our preferred response?

      The only reason I can think of is: because they can.

      Any thinking person, especially another parent, would’ve merely checked that the mother was nearby and that the kids were not lost from her. Therefore these cops were not parents and/or were not thinking people. Cops should have the best interests of other citizens in mind, but in too many cases they seem to just exercise their authority to fuck up someone’s life–just because they can.

      1. When all you have is a gun, everything looks like a threat to officer safety.

    3. Why are so many people so convinced that danger and catastrophe are not just possibly, but probably lurking around every corner?

      Because the generation raising children now for the most part has never been in real danger in their lives. They have no personal benchmark to gauge risk against, so they use the 24/7 media blather about 1 in a million occurrences as a substitute for experience. Imaginary dangers are ever so much more frightening than real dangers.

      /poster formerly known as Busab Agent

      1. Statistically – I would think that the generation raising children now was the one that had the least supervision and the most societal neglect (late 60’s and 70’s era kids). We were the one’s overlooked while the parents were too busy “finding themselves” to give a sh*t. So, yes, there is a tendency towards over-protection of our own kids – but that is a result of being one of the least protected generations in recent history.

        The busy-bodies, though – I would suspect most of those are either boomers who’ve already raised their kids (or never had them) and now get to sit in glorious judgement on everybody else OR their millenial off-spring who were trained to turn to government (or the collective) for solving all of life’s problems.

    4. Welcome to libertarianism. If you try to question any government policies, the general answer is basically “fuck you that’s why.”. FYTW is the standard answer when it comes to questioning the government.

      1. If you question the police you’ll be charged with resisting arrest.

        1. Then you’ll be murdered in your jail cell.

  5. So the HnR rabble react to this as state overreach and abuse of power. Meanwhile, the same story runs over at Jezebel:

    Cestrumnocturn1Joanna Rothkopf
    7/19/15 11:17pm
    Before I scrolled down and saw her picture, I knew she was a black mother. This never happens to white moms.

    7/20/15 5:41am
    I was reading through this like “What? How can this have happened this is ridiculous why on earth… oh she’s black. That’s why. Because racism.”

    So a couple of comments point out that there is a long history behind this with free-range-kids et. al. and provide links showing whitey gets trampled under the boot….. and then this:

    ngEmma Golddigger
    7/20/15 7:24am
    you did not imply that it never happens to white moms,did you? yet,they all chimed in with that assumption,yes? well,reality check,it doesn’t happen to white moms (it being racially-profiled bc that is why laura browder was assumed neglectful and arrested) .

    Sorry. I couldn’t sleep and decided to check out the Jez reaction to Gawker. Don’t do that. Just ….. don’t.

  6. CPS officials said they’re still in the early stages of their investigation, but added they could offer services to help Browder find suitable daycare.

    And that’s why she got arrested. Kids don’t belong to parents, they belong to the state.

    1. I was going to say something snarky but *puke* I just couldn’t finish typing.

      1. Woodchipper. Just…woodchipper.

        1. Woodchipper might be too fast to impress the seriousness of the offense to the witnesses.

          Short stake. Or The Boats.

  7. It’s still a decent question. Are Mall cops so incompent that kids are being kidnapped without the cops being able to do anything about it?

    1. Look up “incompetent” in the dictionary. You’ll find a picture of a mall cop.

  8. “I have a promising future ahead of me regardless of what the media tries to portray me as.”

    Your problem is not the media, Laura.

  9. they were always in her line of sight.

    What a monster.

  10. she didn’t have enough time to line up child care.

    She obviously can’t manage her own affairs, so no guns for her.

  11. Was it 30 yards or 30 feet? She should not have been arrested regardless, but it makes a difference on my outrage meter. 30 feet is nothing.

  12. Browder said she wasn’t more than 30 feet away from her children at any point and they were always in her line of sight.

    “Interviewee never made eye contact. Recommend not hiring.”

    1. This part seemed a little sketchy. If they were always in her line of sight, how did this investigation of neglect go down? Did someone see the kids sitting alone at a table and begin a covert surveillance? One would assume that they approached the kids to get a handle on the situation. At that point, had they been in the line of sight, wouldn’t she make some signal to intervene? Like, “hey, those are my kids! Why are you talking to them?” I suspect that this detail is a bit of an exaggeration designed to minimize any culpability.

      The police version is that the kids were alone and crying with officers on the scene for 15 minutes before she returned. Their version is still probably not criminal if that is the extent of it and she really was in the area the whole time, but it isn’t the same thing as having them in sight the whole time.

  13. The standard for the state to intervene in a first amendment protected family relationship is clear and present danger of harm to the child. This mother needs to sue this officer under 42 USC 1983 for violation of her civil rights under color of law. When enough parents do this states will back off and start respecting our constitutional rights. You have to make these busy bodies feel it in their pocket books in a major way before they will stop.

    Not just the officer, but the caller who reported her too. The mom should do a FOIA request to find out who called child services. Then she should file a claim against the caller at a court of record. This should prevent statists from over abusing state services that drive your taxes higher.

    1. It probably wouldn’t work, most states the identity of the person who called CPS is legally protected from disclosure to “encourage” people to come forward and report things.

      The fact that this makes CPS the perfect weapon against a parent seems to go over the legislatures heads

      1. They’re not protected from the law of physics.


    2. 1st amendment protected family relationship? What, like freedom to assemble peaceably?!

  14. CPS & cops – helping people win the war on poverty every day!

  15. Oh shit, if this crazy stuff is happening in Houston, at a mall I regularly visit, then I need to back up and reevaluate some of my practices.

    I routinely take my 5 and 8 year old boys to Astros games and let them go back and forth to the bathroom and the concession stand all by themselves because I am too lazy to walk back up the stairs and also because they are big boys and can handle it.

    I also let them walk home from school everyday by themselves and usually as soon as they get home I tell them to “get out of the house” and don’t come back until dinner is ready.

    The madness is literally on my doorstep if this really happened the way it’s reported.

    1. Yeah, a weird and almost impossible culture clash is underway. In my wife’s hometown in rural Wisconsin they still take their kids on their first deer hunt at around 12 or 13. (with their own gun I mean. They tag along before that age). And yet CPS is all over the place there too. Makes no sense.

      1. Doesn’t that make it easier to shoot them?

        1. That’s what I’d like to see. Fucking CPS shot by the kid they’re trying to kidnap.

  16. I think add’l factors besides FYTW & scared shitless are operating. A big 1 is that police are like insurance in that they’re paid to do a job everyone hopes never to need. So w health insurance they throw in little extras that aren’t insurance at all. Police, same thing, like I’m paid to work, it’s boring to eat donuts all day, I should be doing something they’d appreciate; here’s something!

    1. ^^This. Between jobs teaching physics and doing engineering, I actually was going to be a cop. (Thank the gods it didn’t happen). But I did a ride along on a Sat. night. It was 10 BORING fucking hours. And the cop I was with said that while once in a while something happens, most of the time it is just like that.

      1. A bored cop is a dangerous cop. They tend to try and scare up some excitement. Pulling over people for not using turn signals, for example.

  17. Gimme a Break…..COMMON SENSE Has Left the Building, NO, The UNIVERSE.

    Here’s a Mom trying to get a JOB……who trains the police in this town?

    1. The KKK.

  18. “30 feet” or “30 yards”?
    Which is it?

    Just another protective action in a Liberal Bastion.

  19. 30 feet or 30 yards?

    1. You obviously didn’t read the article and notice the conflict between the text and the headline.

  20. Maybe we need to call their bluff. 10 million parents drop their kids of at CPS and walk away to let the state deal withem on the public dime.

  21. Wow.

    I can’t wait till I hear about an incident where one of these uniformed child kidnappers have a run in with an ARMED MOMMA BEAR.

    “Touch my kids and I’ll turn you into hamburger”.

  22. How about a suit against the police. False Imprisonment/False Arrest have appropriate rings, and then there is Defamation of Character. I’m certain that a half competent attorney could gin up a much longer listing of legal complaints.

  23. The problem is the reverse. If something had happened to those kids, she’d have been at a lawyer in a heartbeat suing the mall and everyone within 30 feet for their negligence.

    Don’t drop your kids off and expect the public to babysit them. If she can’t find a babysitter for an interview, which SHE SCHEDULED, she is not going to hold a job on the off chance she gets it when she’ll have to conform her schedule to her employers needs.

  24. This, unfortunately, is one of the reasons I haven’t become a foster parent. Aside from the near certainty that I would probably be signing away my inalienable rights in order to qualify, it opens one up to so many of these horrible “crime” charges. I ran all over my neighborhood — miles away, unsupervised as a child. I ought to be able to use the same child rearing practices as my parents did.
    I don’t buy the idea that this world is more dangerous than when I grew up–I’ve read Charles Dickens, and I think we’re safer, now. Except from the government.

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