Free-Range Kids

Crying Mom Arrested for Accidentally Leaving Baby in Parking Lot

To err is... a crime necessitating the intervention of child protective services.

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Abandon
Screenshot via ABC News

An 8-week-old baby, calm, fed, and clothed, was found in his carseat on the ground in a parking lot in Katy, Texas. His mom returned to get him somewhere between 45 and 90 minutes later, crying. She said she that her husband, whom she'd handed the baby to, had somehow not put the boy in the car.

The couple has been arrested for child endangerment.

Now look: If it turns out this tiny Texan was deliberately abandoned, which strikes me as the least likely scenario, then go ahead and deal with that through the legal system. But if it was a mistake, please recall that even the Prime Minister of Great Britain forgot his kid in a pub. These things happen. They are unfortunate. They are not crimes. Here's the story, from ABC News:

A couple was arrested on Tuesday after their eight-week-old baby boy was left in his car seat on the ground of a busy parking lot in Katy, Texas…

A man found the infant and handed him over to Dee Griffin-Stevens, a mother of three who said she cared for the baby until authorities arrived, the report said.

That's as it should be—people helping each other out. And when Griffin-Stevens picked up the baby, all was well. The video taken at the scene shows an extreme cute, placid child. This was in the parking lot in front of where the mom works. She'd taken the baby out with her when she left her job for the day.

Frankly, how many intact families with at least one working parent, who have bonded with their child for two months, suddenly up and conspire to leave him to the wolves?

Okay, now how many exhausted new parents make some dumb mistake? I've heard of people who put their baby on top of the car and drive off, too. To err is… you know.

Because of this particular error, the child is now in the hands of child protective services, which is hunting for some other relatives to take care of the boy while his very human parents are taught a lesson that they have already learned: Double check to make sure your kid is where you think he is. When the mom returned to get him—she was crying—she was arrested.

During the couple's first court appearance on Wednesday, a prosecutor said the couple had left the child there by mistake.

So isn't that… that? A mistake, case closed?

A CPS spokeswoman described him as a "happy, healthy, chunky baby who looks as if he has been cared for."

So isn't that that? The child is fine and well cared for?

This "case" deserves our sympathy, not a court date. And the baby should be with his parents, not the state.

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  1. And the baby should be with his parents, not the state.

    “I fail to see the distinction” – endgame prog

  2. Before I decide what to think about this, I gotta know whether or not either of the parents voted for Trump.

  3. I know that libertarians have a problem with empathy but try, just this once, to put yourself in the shoes of that selfless public servant over at CPS.

    Now ask yourself: Who would you prefer to confront as a CPS caseworker? A meth-addicted single mother who lives in trailer full of trash and screaming and undernourished kids, and who might just have a violence-prone alcoholic boyfriend over when you visit? Or a normal, polite working couple who you can intimidate and humiliate with your authority as an agent of the state?

    1. I’d prefer to deal with the meth heads. Because at least then I would know the kids were probably better off.

  4. You forget, though, that we’re all property of the state so it’s only good and right that they take children and put them in foster homes where they can be abused on the tax payer dime. After all, it’s only wrong for the child’s actual parents to abuse them; it’s fine when it’s the state or their proxies.

  5. A CPS spokeswoman described him as a “happy, healthy, chunky baby who looks as if he has been cared for.”

    Baby fat-shaming? I am outraged!

    1. Don’t want to get fat-shamed like a thug? Don’t spend so much time at the teat.

  6. A judge in Hot Springs AR leaves his kid in hot car to die and doesn’t even get slap on wrist. Worse yet he is still on the bench deciding people fate in family court.

  7. I wonder if a family leave law would help.

    1. And technically speaking, they did leave family…

      1. Oh man… an unintended double entendre. I’m sorry. I meant the first meaning.

    2. 12 weeks in a parking lot is no way to go through vacation, son.

  8. You know what else is an accident, Lenore? Involuntary manslaughter. I suppose we should just let those people go too, because oops.

    1. Oh, i missed the part of the article where the baby died or was harmed at all.

      1. Aside from being taken from its parents after the fact, that is.

        1. I think Lenore is reaching the correct conclusion via the wrong argument.

          1. so much like the rest of us here then?

            1. I’m not sure in what sense you mean this.

    2. It’s hard to claim recklessness or criminal negligence in this case. 8 week old babies will keep both parents up all night. Sleep deprived people forget things. It happens. It’s not criminal negligence to take your baby to the store while sleep deprived. Really hard to forsee that BOTH of you are going to forget to put the car seat into the car after loading the groceries.

      1. If your contention is that a baby is no different than a purse or a cell phone, OK, I agree with you.

        In fact though, your baby is a small human that you are uniquely qualified to care for. If you’re a parent, you know you have a baby. When you know you have a baby, you know when you bring it somewhere.

        Now this woman should be absolutely grateful that nothing happened to her baby. And since nothing happened and she’s clearly remorseful she shouldn’t be punished further. But the cavalier attitude that this was just a harmless whoopsie that anyone could make is just plain stupid.

        1. But the cavalier attitude that this was just a harmless whoopsie that anyone could make is just plain stupid.

          Not nearly as stupid as the idea that both parents should go to jail and the child turned over to foster care.

          1. Indeed, it’s not as stupid as that. But being less stupid than something else doesn’t make it not stupid.

  9. Look, police are not going to fill out all that paperwork and have nothing to show for it.

  10. RE: Crying Mom Arrested for Accidentally Leaving Baby in Parking Lot
    To err is… a crime necessitating the intervention of child protective services.

    This woman is a nazi.
    She intentionally left her child to die in that oven called a car.
    She should be put on trial immediately for her war crimes.
    Somebody get a rope!

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