Hit & Run

Viral Video of Young Mom Committing Unspeakable Crime: Leaving Baby in Car for 3 Minutes

Thank god that bystander was there.


Screenshot via Fox 25

Pitchforks are so 19th century. Today's righteous mobs wield cell phone videos and Facebook likes.

Here's the video of a baby whose mom decided against dragging him into the gas station for a short errand. Instead she let wait in the car. This caused some modern day hero to whip out his cell phone, start videotaping, and swear about what a horrible mother she is. When she returned to the scene of the "crime," he cursed her to her face. And since he made sure to videotape the mom's license plate, now she is being investigated by the authorities. Charges are expected.

And of course his video, which he posted on Facebook, has gone viral (2.5 million views) and inspired "investigative" reporting: the reporter interviewed the young woman's neighbors, as if the she was Son of Sam.

If this isn't an example of what the University of California Irvine researchers recently discovered about our judgment of moms, I don't know what is.

Their study found that we are overestimating the danger of unsupervised children because we believe no decent mom would EVER take her eyes off her kids. And once we have judged a mom as immoral, that judgment makes us unconsciously amp up the amount of danger we truly believe the child to be in: a feedback loop of self-righteousness. It's an amazing study. Read about it here.

But the problem we must deal with is this: People not only judge parents—they get off on hating them. It gives them a moral high.

This is what Theodore Dalrymple describes as "toxic sentimentality." That's when people believe that they are so tenderhearted, they are morally superior to anyone who is not excessively outraged by any perceived danger, especially to a child. And that allows them to get out the pitchforks. They get two thrills for the price of one: Despising a person they deem morally inferior, and feeling morally superior for that hate.

The description of Dalrymple's book includes this perfect line:

Theodore Dalrymple unmasks the hidden sentimentality that is suffocating public life. Under the multiple guises of raising children well…and doing good generally, we are achieving quite the opposite — for the single purpose of feeling good about ourselves.

Not that all concern for children and the less fortunate is selfish, of course. Just that when you see people screaming about how tenderhearted they are, check to see what they do next: Offer to actually help? Or get out the pitchfork/cell phone?

NEXT: Why We Need More Access to Bureaucrats' Emails, Not Less

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  1. Being offended is a sign of virtue. The better person you are the more outraged and miserable you have to be all of the time.

    Social networks rewards this behavior, and I for one am outraged.

    1. It all comes back to the obsession with victimization. People have always signaled, and right now being a victim or showing solidarity with one is what counts for virtue.

    2. This is exactly my thoughts! Especially regarding the compounding effect of social networks.

  2. You know who else committed unspeakable crimes...

    1. Helen Keller?

  3. Obviously the solution is to extend the Scottish mandate: Have the government assign a constant companion to every child upon birth.

    Think of the children's safety -- and the JOBS!

  4. That child should be remanded to the caring hands of the State!
    How many Virtue Points to I get for that?

    1. How many Virtue Points to I get for that?

      Wow, you care quite a bit! Uh...(gotta show I care...can't get upstaged...got it!) HILLARY IS GETTING MISTREATED BY THE MEDIA AND IT'S A TRAVESTY! WOMEN ARE NOT PUNCHING BAGS!

      (all caps. Beat that, Princess Trigger)

  5. If you see a kid alone, and your first instinct is to film him and post it on social media--you're the creep.

    1. ^This!^

      My first thought was that this guy knew it was a 3 minute trip into the store, and if he'd have seen a "longer" one, the kid would have been in his "posession."

  6. We shouldn't be surprised. Kids are being taught to this crap in school. When my son was in middle school the slogan the school used was "Be an upstander, not a bystander". Now he's in college and there's a "bystander intervention" session as part of new student orientation.

    Outside of schools there's all the "If you see something, say something" signs in airports and other public transportation.

    Society is teaching us to spy on each other and distrust each other.

    I don't want to return to the days when a little girl's clear signs of physical and sexual abuse were ignored by her teachers, but I think we could all use a little more "mind your own business" mentality.

    1. "Getting involved" with your neighbors isn't the same thing as "report anything you deem suspicious to the police".

      If you were really concerned about the kids, maybe actually getting involved... like staying with the baby or asking for the parents inside the store? An offer of aid might be rebuffed as unnecessary, but at least you are reaching out to another human being.

      Calling child protective services should be a last resort. It can only end badly.

      I had a similar opportunity last night. Taking my son to baseball practice at a local park, I walked past some guy who's dog was taking a dump beside the sidewalk. He had the look of a guy who wasn't about to pick up the poop, so I slowed up. Sure enough, he started walking away when his dog finished. So I asked him if he needed a bag and offered to get one from my car. He declined, but the message was sent without confrontation or conflict.

      I could have started live-streaming his dog and the poop and began a 95 decibel rant, but what would that accomplish? The best case scenario would be that he picks up the poop, same as the other approach. The worst case (which is far more likely) would be getting jumped by a crazy dude and his dog.

      1. The worst case (which is far more likely) would be getting jumped by a crazy dude and his dog.

        People who lack the decency to not-leave shit lying around tend not to be the most receptive to ...well, anything.

      2. Child Protective Services is like the underfunded SJW mafia.

  7. when my kids were young (about 6 or so) they hated running in to Target for a quick stop (no time to browse the toy or nintendo aisle). so rather than everyone being miserable they would wait in the car. One time an old lady approached the car and started asking them where their mommy was. The oldest told her to get away from the car, she was frightening them and he didn't want to have to find the authorities to report her. She left.

    1. Taking Charge: that's how it's done.

  8. Positively quoting Dalrymple? Someone's looking for a one-way ticket to the Reason naughty list.

  9. I leave my kids in the car all the time. 8 year old twin boys left in mini-van for 15 minutes while going into grocery store to grab a few things for dinner. They were asked if they wanted to stay or come in as they were exhausted from soccer practice.
    Difficult to see how finding a stranger filming them in the parking lot wouldn't have ended in violence.

  10. "But the problem we must deal with is this: People not only judge parents?they get off on hating them. It gives them a moral high"

    What's the problem? Isn't that the whole purpose of having a comment section?

  11. "But the problem we must deal with is this: People not only judge parents?they get off on hating them. It gives them a moral high."

    Exactly. The obvious best course of action if you are actually concerned is to speak with the mother in a kind, non-judgmental way. Harassing someone won't convince them to change behavior.

  12. Usually the outraged people don't have children and have no clue.

  13. I too was a child in the 70's and left in a car with siblings, often. Usually, it was right in front of a milk store, in plain site. I live close to the area where this happened, it's a store that attracts some seedy people, and is across from a bar I wouldn't step in. Times are different compared to back in my day. People value nothing unless they want it from you. This dumb broad left the car running, Windows DOWN, purse on seat. Seriously, you that say mind your business are idiots. This isn't a country neighborhood, this is NEW BEDFORD. Look it up. Crime is high, numerous sex offenders nearby, done low life's frequent that store....nice people too, but, just know your facts. This guys one mistake....should have called the cops a bit into video...instead of strictly recording and telling her she was stupid. The internet, World Star, and the current twenty something generation want to be famous crowd incite just whipping out the camera. The kid is safe, she was charged, hopefully she'll grow up.

    1. She (arguably) needs parenting classes, not a criminal record. Her having a record won't be good for the kid at all.

    2. You are a fucking sensationalistic idiot. You're surrounded by idiots because you are one.

      Do you live in New Bedford? No. Have you ever been to this gas station? No. Do you have a fucking clue about which you are talking about? No.

      Clearly, you are an idiot.

      1. If you are referring to me, I live in Acushnet, five minutes from Gas Express. I have gone there plenty. I travel the entire southern portion of Massachusetts, up to Dorchester and Boston. I know a shitty area when I am in one. If that guy decided to take that car or baby instead of recording, he would have had so many route options. That kid would have been nearly on the route 140 by then. The way that car was parked, she could not see that guy or her car from the counter. Way it looks to me is all the commenters like you have no issue leaving their kid in the car.... Risky at best, stupid and deadly at worst. Honestly, justify your shitty parental skills if that is what you do if you need to, but, kids disappear every couple minutes in this country. People walk by violence, even amongst children all over the world. Most don't give a shit bro. Again, SHE is in the wrong, not the concerned guy. I raised my children, not the state, but sometimes, young women like this need to get better parental educating....even if by the state. I've raised 4 kids to become successful adults and parents without losing any. Why take the chance, unless you don't give a shit about them really.

        1. "kids disappear every couple minutes in this country." Bullshit. And 95% of those kids who do disappear are the result of someone they know, not some random stranger. This has been well documented, try to keep up.

          You were probably a fucking helicopter parent.

          Here's a fact for you to choke on: Nothing happened to the kid. Nothing. At. Fucking. All.

          However, some idiotic SJW say the situation and said, "Fuck, I'm going to be famous if I can post this on social media and make a fuss about it", and that's exactly what happened. The posts, video, and all the other bullshit have already been taken down because of the backlash that the SJW wasn't prepared for.

          End result: A woman who broke no laws, did not endanger her child, is now being harassed by the nanny state of Mass-of-two-shits because of the narcissistic actions of a SJW. Too bad she wasn't armed and took a shot at the SJW. Would have made the world a better place with one less of those fuckers in it.

          And full disclosure: I grew up in Nashua, have family in Wrentham, Millis, and Foxboro. I know every road and backroad around Boston, 128, and 495. Yeah, there are some really shitty areas, but there are very, very few abductions in that area.

          Get a fucking grip you idiot.

          1. Get Pedo Pete, there are currently SIX missing children from New Bedford this year alone. You're right though, every minute I was wrong. It's every 41 seconds actually, a child goes missing in this country. ONE abduction is one too many. Trafficking is a real, hidden danger. So, gfy, you're not always going to be right. Get over yourself. Again, she was stupid, lazy and wrong. Live in your bubble if you chose to. Btw, I'm not impressed with your area knowledge. I work the filth daily. So again, an infant is helpless, deserves better and that probably isn't this idiots first time leaving the kid alone. That is the main concern. Good day, pious pos.

            1. Let's do a little arithmetic

              Seconds in a year: 60*60*24*365.25 = 31,557,600 seconds in a year

              1 "child goes missing" every 41: 31,557,600/41 = 769,697.561

              Google tells me that:

              According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010, 3,999,386 infants were born in the United States.

              So, 4 million children born per year, 750,000 "missing" per year. I suspect that "going missing" is not a synonym for "abducted in parking lot."

    3. Yes, times are different. The crime rate is down drastically, for one thing, making something as unlikely as a child abduction in broad daylight of a child left alone for three minutes in a locked vehicle even less likely.

  14. Hey, at least she left the doors unlocked and engine/AC running, so the kid wouldn't die of hyperthermia if he got locked in, which is probably a greater risk than some stranger running off with the kid.

    Sounds like the mom is of a lower socioeconomic status (20 year old moms in Massachusetts most always are), so I wonder how many of these "evil mommies/daddies" are. She was probably running into the gas station to buy a pack of smokes or lottery ticket. Were she some soccer mom in a land rover, the guy probably wouldn't have even noticed or felt compelled to post a video.

  15. My two boys have asked many times to stay in the car when I am just running into the store for a minute and I have to tell them to come with me because somebody might call the police and daddy could go to jail.

  16. Start recording the recorders right back. Get in their face with your own camera. Make them nervous. Upload videos of people making videos. Shame them.

    1. Won't work. Too many people will just jump on the "neglectful parent", including the police, if they get involved.

      1. Society dislikes molesters even more than neglectful parents.

        After a few headlines like "Mom catches creep filming her kids, you'll never guess what happens next", people will stop filming other people's kids.

    2. You beat me to it! I was just thinking I might leave my girls in my car and walk away 20 feet and just wait for the no-lifers to start filming them. If you really wanted you could then report them as harassing your children.

  17. I remember when I relaxed enough to leave my infant in the car long enough to return the grocery cart. It was liberating.

  18. Let's stigmatize and browbeat that parent until she can't get a decent job, that'll be good for the kid. What a bunch of morally preening, holier than thou bunch of fucking losers we've become.

  19. Social media is like gas fueling the fire of groupthink.

    Never underestimate the incredible fucking stupidity of people in large numbers.

    If all the people using social media masturbated instead, the world would be a much happier place and everyone would at least have some feeling of satisfaction.

  20. Calvin and Hobbes, free-range kid and tiger:


  21. I agree, there's a lot of virtue signaling and self righteous bullshit going on. The world is going insane. Few point their pointers inward but are happy to judge everyone else as if it's their obligation.

    Mom isn't automatically the worst mom on earth, but come on! Take your kid with you. Don't leave your kid in a car locked or not. It's LAZY and in some instances it really is dangerous.

    No need for an investigation, no need for a lynching. I would've waited and guarded discreetly. Would've only said or done something if the child was in actual danger. I've waited by cars with lone baby's-kids numerous times (it happens a lot) throughout the years, as a secret guardian. Didn't say a word to the parents when they showed up. It's mind blowing how many had left the windows down and doors unlocked and their children vulnerable. this ain't Mayberry.

    1. "Don't leave your kid in a car locked or not. It's LAZY and in some instances it really is dangerous."

      But parking lots are more dangerous than locked cars. And don't forget the danger of the drive itself -- child seats are certainly not 100% protection against death or injury in crashes. So wouldn't you say that it's really unnecessarily dangerous to take them on errands at all? Wouldn't they be safer at home with a babysitter than driving through all that traffic and then running the gauntlet through the parking lot at Target? You don't get a sitter to watch your kids when you go to potentially dangerous places like that!? What kind of LAZY, cheap mother are you that you would expose them to such dangers instead of getting a sitter?

  22. Charge the guy for filming somebody else's child... Seems like a creep to me.

    This negative feedback loop only ends when everybody is in jail.

  23. I disagree with this article and here's why. Life is so unpredictable, that things can change in a moments notice and some people simply don't recognize potential danger when they see it. Here are some examples of how leaving a baby or child for a few minutes can go very wrong:

    1) What if she accidentally locked her keys in the car?

    2) While this might be very unlikely, it takes less than a minute for someone to steal a baby from a car. What if the door was unlocked or the person broke the glass?

    3) Ask any parent who has left their child unattended at a pool for a few minutes only to find their child dead and floating in the water.

    4) What if something bad did happen to the baby? Then the author of the article would have said, "Why didn't anyone do something to help that baby?"


    1. My thoughts? A lot of "what ifs". Life is unpredictable, and yes, something could have happened to the child in the mother's absence. But it didn't. The article (and free-range movement) pretty much explains that such occurrences, and are rare, and that there is a rash of overreaction when a mother takes her eyes of her child for even a second.

      1. This does happen, yes. But it doesn't necessitate the mother leaving her child to run an errand. I've personally seen a woman accidentally lock her keys in the car after buckling her child back into the carseat. Further, the woman in this video had a window rolled down, so the locking the keys scenario is redundant.

      2. You even admitted this scenario to be unlikely. This could have happened, its rare, but sadly it does happen. For this scenario, I would say it depends on various factors and opinions.

      3. Not really a good comparison. With a pool, there is an actual present danger--the pool. There wasn't an actual threat (pederast) present.

      4. Nothing happened, except the outrage.

      1. I was trying to reply to you but I posted my reply to you as a new post. Sorry about that.

        1. It happens now and then, no big deal.

    2. MikeWest, there is a truly endless list of awful scenarios that could happen.

      Any number of choices you make could get your child hurt, even if you think it's the right thing to do at the time. Kids get hurt in car crashes and while walking through parking lots with their parents a lot. Which is more serious than being locked in a car (when the parent is only a couple of minutes away from getting back), and much more likely than being kidnapped.

      If something bad had happened, the article would have been about a different subject, and we could analyse what actually went wrong, but in this case absolutely nothing of the sort happened. Instead the camera-wielding busybody caused a situation where the mother risk having her child taken away from her, the very thing the person was worried about.

      Sure, foster care is a lot better than being kidnapped, but children in foster care are more likely to later become homeless, substance abusers, and end up in prison. Is it possible that having a slightly thoughtless mother is a lot better than those outcomes? Especially when nothing actually happened in the first place?

    3. Or you could leave your kid at home with a babysitter who turns out to be a cannibal, or the house might catch fire. You might take your kid with you into the store and both of you get hit by a car in the parking lot. Or shot by a robber in the store. Or struck by a meteor. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

      Life is full of risks, and there is no perfect safety. But there is a real problem with assuming that the government, or some jerk with a cell phone, cares more about and has better judgment regarding a kid's safety than the kid's parent.

  24. Haven't people heard the statement, "Better safe than sorry."? Can we really say that the phrase "Better safe than sorry" is now out of date? Of course not.

    It's a false statement to say we are talking about seconds when we are actually talking about minutes. A lot can happen in three minutes. And all the scenarios I presented were very good scenarios. Period.

    As for a parent leaving a child and getting nationwide attention for leaving a baby alone for about three minutes, I'm not sure that it's a fair punishment. However, I do think this parent and many other parents need more education.

    Let's be extremely honest here. Is every parent qualified to be a parent? Probably not. Just because you want a baby doesn't mean you should have a baby. We all know that people have babies to simply have baby status or they feel forced to have a baby by family pressure. Are all parents getting top quality education on how to be a good parent? These are some other issues going on here.

    1. It is a unique topic with many different points of view. And in all honesty, I feel that both sides have valid points. However, I personally side more with the "free-range" ideas. It is wise to be "better safe than sorry", however, people are taking that mantra to the extreme. This is pretty much my view on potential dangers--I don't want to spend my life constantly worrying about what could possibly kill me, although I do take some reasonable measures to ensure my safety.

      "As for a parent leaving a child and getting nationwide attention for leaving a baby alone for about three minutes, I'm not sure that it's a fair punishment. However, I do think this parent and many other parents need more education".

      Yes. It is a complete overreaction for her to be shamed on a national level. That is also what this article discusses. I'm not trying to berate parents who perpetually monitor their kids or those who insist they must, I just think they could ease up a bit.

    2. And you have every right to decide that taking your kid through a parking lot is safer than leaving them in a car...but no right to decide that that's the right decision for other people.

  25. This post is supposed to be a reply post to "Haha, charade you are" post, who posted a reply on my first post! Not sure if that makes sense. Sorry about any confusion.

  26. "?we believe no decent mom would EVER take her eyes off her kids."

    Who's this 'we'? Evidently not the writer.

  27. If the safe thing to do is leave the kid in the car, leave the kid in the car. I didn't get to be a grandparent by killing my kids.

    To the people who say you should NEVER leave a kid in a car, I ask you if you will let a three year old run around their house unsupervised while you take in your groceries?

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