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."