Ok, let's play "You're The Cop." An 18-month-old baby is found wandering the streets of Fayetteville, North Carolina.
You respond to a call about this and learn that the child had been home with mom and dad. Mom left while dad, who works several jobs, was still sleeping. The baby slipped out and commenced wandering.
A) Arrest the dad for sleeping while his child escaped?
B) Arrest the mom for leaving without waking the dad?
C) Decide an arrest in this case would be pointless, as neither parent was deliberately cruel or negligent, and these things happen. Kids always surprise us. Not every imperfect family moment constitutes a crime.
I'll spare you the second-guessing by reminding you of my most recent post, a discussion of the book, Blaming Mothers: American Law and the Risks to Children's Health.
So, yes, the answer is B.
Here's the article regrding the incident, from WRAL, which quotes a cop saying, as they always do, "We are very thankful because this could have been a very tragic situation, very busy time of day."
The mom faces one count of misdemeanor child neglect.