Free-Range Kids

Cops Give Mom Electronic Monitor After Leaving Kids Alone for 10 Minutes

Mom released on $25,000 bond.


Spe / Dreamstime

A mom who let her 8-month-old twins wait in the car with the windows down, within her view, for 10 minutes, finds herself released on a $25,000 bond and electronic home monitoring. As Patch reports:

ALSIP, Ill.—An Alsip woman was arrested after she left her infant twins alone in a car while she went to register her older child for school, prosecutors said.

Sarah Laveille, 28, appeared before Cook County Judge Peter Felice on two misdemeanor counts of child endangerment.

The prosecutor said that around 8:50 a.m. Monday, Alsip police were called to Prairie Junior High School, 11910 S. Kostner Ave., for a report of two babies left alone in a car. One of the babies was crying.

Crying! Well if that isn't enough to prove a child is in mortal danger, what is?

According to Alsip police, a citizen heard a baby crying and when she went to investigate, she saw the two babies in the back seat of a Ford Taurus.

A woman, later identified as Laveille, returned to the vehicle with a third child. Police said that Laveille left the vehicle with the windows rolled down.

The babies, 8-month-old twins, had been left alone in the car for about 10 minutes, the prosecutor said.

As the assistant public defender pointed out, the car was within Laveille's sight "at all times." So the mom was being responsible, signing one kid up for school and keeping an eye on the other two, but she is under arrest.     

Can we please call this a war on moms? Even though it is demonstrably safe to leave your kids, even babies, in the car with the windows down for 10 minutes—try it! you will see!—society has elevated this normal parenting practice to a crime against humanity.

The idea that she should have gotten both kids out of their carseats and into a double stroller to schlep into the short errand is basically saying: The fact that your kids were literally and statistically safe doesn't matter.

It reminds me of the way the TSA makes 90-year-old grannies take off their shoes. The whole idea is to demonstrate excess, no-stone-unturned security, not to actually make anyone safer.

"I don't know how in your right mind you could leave two infants in a car, not saying that you're guilty," Felice said.

Maybe because she knows the facts? More children die in parking lots than waiting in cars. Of the 30-40 kids who die in parked cars every year, which is indeed tragic, 80 percent were either forgotten there for hours, or got into the car on their own and weren't found till too late. The number of children who die during a 10 minute errand is zero, as far as I can tell. And yet:

Felice released LaVeille on a $25,000 I-bond and electronic home monitoring.

Home monitoring is the ankle bracelet used by prisoners on work-release.

"I'm releasing you on your own recognizance," the judge said. "You better not be doing anything foolish with these kids."

Foolish, like making sure they're safe in car seats, bringing them along as she goes about her day, making sure they are within her sight and not overheated? Foolish like that?

Alsip's slogan is "A great place to live." Not if you're a mom.

NEXT: Friday Funnies: 2 Libertarian Weirdos

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Even though it is demonstrably safe to leave your kids, even babies, in the car with the windows down for 10 minutes

    True, Lenore. It’s the sickos, who roll the windows back up after 10 min., that have ruined it for everyone else.

  2. In order to convict someone for endangering a child, shouldn’t they have to prove that whatever that person was doing is actually dangerous to the child? Or am I just being silly for insisting that the government actually has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt?

    1. “I’m releasing you on your own recognizance,” the judge said. “You better not be doing anything foolish with these kids.”

      So this 28 year-old mother is going to be second-guessing every single decision and action she makes for the next 20 years, fearful that the slightest slip – real or imagined – could land her in jail or her kids in government custody. “Government is just a name for the things we choose to do together.”

      1. Actually, “to govern” means “to control.” Now you see why the Founding Fathers were afraid of government and wanted to chain it down.

  3. From the website:

    Re: Backovers

    Every year, thousands of children are killed or seriously injured because a driver backing up didn’t see them. A backover incident typically takes place when a car is backing out of a driveway or parking space.

    Re: Frontovers

    Every year, thousands of children are hurt or die because a driver moving forward very slowly didn’t see them. These incidents for the most part take place in residential driveways or parking lots and are referred to as ‘frontovers.’ (the opposite of a backover).

    Re: Heat Stroke

    On average, 37 children die in hot cars each year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside motor vehicles. Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death.

    Seems curious that the action resulting in the fewest average annual fatalities will get you arrested for child endangerment.

    1. “Thousands….” Sorry, but unless you have exact figures, it’s bullshit.

  4. This pisses me off. That mother is the same age as my daughter. Even if – IF! – you thought she was a bit negligent, it seems being arrested and having a mugshot taken would be more than ample punishment.

    Talk about a war on women! It’s simply hysteria, like a witch hunt — for the judge seemed to show a little more even-handedness in this case:…..judge.html

    1. Talk about a war on women mothers!


      Had they simply avoided pregnancy in the first place (especially *twins* in this case – how *DARE* she, that filthy breeder), they wouldn’t have this problem. Gaiea dies a little more with the birth of every child.


  5. “I don’t know how in your right mind you could leave two infants in a car, not saying that you’re guilty,” Felice said.

    Judge Peter Felice, say hello to my little woodchipping friend.

  6. I’d say we are pretty close to having all parents of a “lost child” in Target or WalMart or wherever arrested. Yet we laugh at those parents who tether their kids, like dogs, with a leash.

    1. We don’t just laugh–we yell and call names (at least on the ‘net). It’s so demeaning to their tender psyches, after all.

      In the late fifties, my mother had a wayward toddler while our brother was in Cub Scouts–he once followed a bunch of Scouts on a trail during a pack picnic and was lost for a couple hours; no harm to him–he turned up in someone else’s picnic ground, and they hailed the rangers, who were already looking for him.

      After that, whenever we were in crowded public venues, she put a halter and leash on him, and a sign that told people who he was and where he belonged, since as the “baby” his speech wasn’t as clear as it could have been–his helpful older sibs kept translating for him.

      If she’d done that a decade or so later, she’d have likely been humiliated by some busybody who knew just what everybody else should do. THAT kind has existed forever.

      1. Exactly! Everybody knows best, especially the ones who’ve never had kids. Just like our busy-body government composed of bureaucrats and community organizers who’ve never had a real job in their lives but know how to run yours.

  7. “Can we please call this a war on moms?”

    No. No. No. NO! Can we please stop referring to every little issue as a War On BlahBlah!?!? Please! For the love of god. It’s like a War On The Meaning Of War.

    1. No complaining until the bitches are gettin shot.

  8. Everytime I read one of these posts, I go looking on the Internet for a good animated gif of Gunny Hartman jumping up and down after he fins the jelly donut in Pvt Pyle’s footlocker. Still haven’t found a good one.

    1. 1. Purchase Gomer DVD
      2. Play in VLC Media Player, take screen caps
      3. reassmble in Blender sequencer, export to movie

      chop, chop.

  9. Vote Woodchipper 2016!

  10. This is also a war on the poor afford to hire a staff of 50 nannies and have shit they have to get done.

    One point I wish Lenore have made clear from the beginning is that the infants were strapped into car seats. They could not have gone anywhere.

    I also would have like to hear the explanation, if there ever was one, of what precise danger the infants were presumed to be in. All I can think of is child kidnapping. Is it also child endangerment to not be armed so that you can fend off child kidnappers?

    1. You brazenly admit that the children were unable to escape from the deadly automotive oven.

      You’re a monster.

      1. What “oven”?? You don’t even know what the outside temp was. You have a thinking problem.

  11. Yet when the top class police officer leaves his kid and the kid dies, he get paid administrative leave.…..-1.2665818

    1. Privilege has many colors! It’s not “who you know”!? Yes, it is! Depending how you know them!

  12. Yes, you can call it a “war on moms”. First, moms aren’t supposed to stay home and be mom because it makes the non-stay-at-home moms jealousook. And when moms do decide to bite the bullet and be full time moms all the non-moms are suddenly expert critics of them.

    1. ^Above comment is directed at the liberal ‘dogooders’ among us who don’t stay at home and raise kids so don’t know how to manage logistically difficult situations like this mom was evidently deftly doing.
      ^^jealous–typo correction didn’t transmit. (Please pardon the error owing to bouncing down the road as a passenger in a tight suspension dually.)

  13. I would be worried about the “crazies” out there that might steal the twins! There is no protection for them, like an older, responsible, sibling in the car. But, realistically, it is every difficult for single mothers. That must, also, be taken into consideration, too.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.