3.25.2017

Sometimes things really are an accident or miscommunication and we don't need to prosecute. Parents have been accused of forgetting their 8-week-old baby in a parking lot.


Source:  wbrc.com/story/34989795/baby-found-alone-in-parking-lot-parents-arrested

This morning as I sipped my coffee, this is one of the stories I read;   

Parents have been accused of forgetting their 8-week-old baby in a parking lot.

Obviously that caught my attention but as I read the article I found myself getting a little angry.  And not at the parents like I thought I would.... but at the whole situation and the blame on the parents.  First let me put some details of the story out there and then I'll ramble a bit about my thoughts.

Police arrested Sarah Shibley and Gary Collins on endangerment charges.  

"Look at this; somebody left a newborn baby," said a woman on a cell phone video recording of the child's discovery.

The baby boy has been placed in temporary foster care after it was abandoned Tuesday night in the lot, authorities said.
"I think it was an accident," said Erika Barrera, coworker of the mother.

Barrera and Shibley work at Russo's Pizzeria. Barrera said she remembers her coworker calling that evening and frantic.
"She just told me, 'Can you go check?'" Barrera said. "She was crying."

She said Shibley finished her shift at 9:17 p.m. and called around 9:40, looking for the infant. Shibley claimed she'd just realized that she left the newborn in the parking lot.

Barrera said Shibley believed Collins had put the child in the car, and Collins believed Shibley had.

Prosecutors said the parents had no idea they might have left the infant in the parking lot until a coworker called to tell Shibley that police had her baby.

Investigators said he'd been in the parking lot for 45 minutes before he was discovered. He was discovered by a restaurant patron sitting in a car seat.

The child's mother was arrested after coming back to the scene, as was the father.

Shibley refused to tell her side of the story before or after a court appearance Thursday. Her coworker said the mom seemed genuinely to love her baby boy and that she would talk about him often at work.

A judge is expected to decide whether to place that baby in the home of a family member.


_____________________________________


The first thing I noted was the poor writing of the story author;

Investigators said he'd been in the parking lot for 45 minutes before he was discovered. He was discovered by a restaurant patron sitting in a car seat.


So apparently the restaurant patron was sitting in a car seat.  Yeah.  That.  (Do they really teach English or Journalism anymore?)

But let's get past that.

The 'investigators' say the baby was in the parking lot for 45 minutes before he was discovered.
That doesn't add up.
The mother got off work at 9:17 pm and was already on the phone calling her workplace to check for the baby at 9:40 by which time he was found.
That is 23 minutes.
Not 45.

Also, the baby is obviously happy, healthy and well cared for.
He was not neglected.  He was not 'abandoned' so much as 'accidentally' left.  Yes there is a difference.

And I was thinking about how almost every family has a story about 'that one time Dad drove off and forgot us....'  or 'that vacation where Dad accidentally forgot Ralphie at the rest area and was 10 miles down the road before...'  or 'remember the time Mom lost us in the Kmart store and we had gone outside to ride on the quarter-pay plastic horses'  Etc.

The 'accident' of leaving or forgetting your kid turns into a hilarious story told at family reunions and get-togethers.

Because up until just a few years ago (10? 15?)  people were allowed to make mistakes and learn from them.
They weren't automatically arrested, charged and had their children taken away from them immediately.  Especially if the story behind it completely makes common sense on how it COULD have happened.  A terrible mistake yes... but was it out of anger or spite? Was it on purpose?  Was the child showing signs of bruising, abuse or neglect?

No.

Just an exhausted mother getting off her job at a pizza place at 9:20 pm at night and she thought the Dad put the baby in the car. He thought the Mom put the baby in the car.  Babies are quiet little things - especially when you get them into a car.  They usually fall into a deep sleep, lulled by the motor and vibration of driving.  And since babies can't be in the front seat anymore, you cannot see them in the back if they are behind your seat... a silent, sleeping baby while you and your significant other talk over a long, hard day at work.  It's almost 10:00 pm and you just want to get home and go to bed.

I can totally see this happening.
As an accident.
Not on purpose.
And apparently by loving, caring parents.
Call it what it is - an accident.

People are human.
Human.  We are not perfect.  We do make mistakes.  Even pretty crappy mistakes.

But unless there were more circumstances surrounding this story (which there does not look like there is), I'd call it a terrible moment of miscommunication between two parents who thought the other had the baby and would not choose to prosecute.





It's just the coffee talking...  and now, I need to go brew another cup.