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Thread: Mom on Trial for Leaving Toddler in the Car

  1. La Xicana
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    #1

    Mom on Trial for Leaving Toddler in the Car

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    So this apparently is a big debate, on whether the punishment is too harsh, or whether she deserves it. I've seen this kind of debate here before, and last time this debate came up about leaving children in the car, I saw most people say that if it was just a couple of minutes it wasn't a big deal.

    But I'm interested in knowing what you all think of this particular case:


    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23594474/?GT1=43001

    Mom faces trial for leaving toddler in car
    Controversial child endangerment case stirs Internet debate

    CHICAGO - Treffly Coyne was out of her car for just minutes and no more than 10 yards away.

    But that was long and far enough to land her in court after a police officer spotted her sleeping 2-year-old daughter alone in the vehicle; Coyne had taken her two older daughters to pour $8.29 in coins into a Salvation Army kettle.

    Minutes later, she was under arrest — the focus of both a police investigation and a probe by the state’s child welfare agency. Now the case that has become an Internet flash point for people who either blast police for overstepping their authority or Coyne for putting a child in danger.

    The 36-year-old suburban mother is preparing to go on trial Thursday on misdemeanor charges of child endangerment and obstructing a peace officer. If convicted, she could be sentenced to a year in jail and fined $2,500, even though child welfare workers found no credible evidence of abuse or neglect.

    On Dec. 8 Coyne decided to drive to Wal-Mart in the Chicago suburb of Crestwood so her children and a young friend could donate the coins they’d collected at her husband’s office.

    Even as she buckled 2-year-old Phoebe into the car, the girl was asleep. When Coyne arrived at the store, she found a spot to park in a loading zone, right behind someone tying a Christmas tree onto a car.

    “It’s sleeting out, it’s not pleasant, I don’t want to disturb her, wake her up,” Coyne said this week. “It was safer to leave her in the safety and warmth of an alarmed car than take her.”

    So Coyne switched on the emergency flashers, locked the car, activated the alarm and walked the other children to the bell ringer.

    She snapped a few pictures of the girls donating money and headed back to the car. But a community service officer blocked her way.

    “She was on a tirade, she was yelling at me,” Coyne said. The officer, Coyne said, didn’t want to hear about how close Coyne was, how she never set foot inside the store and was just there to let the kids donate money, or how she could always see her car.

    Coyne telephoned her husband, Tim Janecyk, who advised her not to say anything else to police until he arrived. So Coyne declined to talk further, refusing even to tell police her child’s name.

    When Janecyk pulled up, his wife already was handcuffed, sitting in a patrol car.

    Crestwood Police Chief Timothy Sulikowski declined to comment about the case. But he did not dispute the contention that Coyne parked nearby or was away from her car for just a few minutes.

    He did, however, suggest Coyne put her child at risk.

    “A minute or two, that’s when things can happen,” he said.

    Online debate
    Talk about the case has intensified, particularly online, where bloggers are weighing in on various message boards.

    Many have harsh words for the police department, calling the arrest of a mother who left her child in a locked car for a few minutes an abuse of authority.

    Yet statistics show thousands of children are injured and dozens die every year after being left unattended near or inside vehicles.

    “I am talking tens of thousands of people who leave their kids in the car for any period of time all around America,” said Janette Fennell, founder and president of Kansas-based Kids and Cars. “People don’t appreciate the dangers of leaving a child alone in the car.”

    Coyne’s attorney, Michelle Forbes, argued that Coyne did not break the law any more than a mother who parks in front of a school in a rainstorm and leaves an infant in the car as she runs a few feet to pick up another child.

    “As long as the car is not out of her sight, then the child is not unattended,” she said.

    Coyne and her husband believe she is unfairly being lumped in with parents who put their children’s lives at risk.

    “If I were going on a shopping spree then, yes, I would deserve arrest,” Coyne said. “I was standing right there. I never went into the store.

    “I’m a great parent.”
  2. Senior Member
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    #2
    Considering she was 10 yds from the car, she didn't 'leave' the car or the child I find it ridiculous. Especially seeing the chick in Ohio that left her kid in the car, who died, while she moved the car half a dozen times throughout the day and stopped to get donuts and crap. Got off b/c she claims she just 'forgot'. And the worst that came of it were people were upset that she kept her job at the school.

    This mom did nothing IMO wrong, I would have done exactly the same in the circumstances.
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  3. Account Closed
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by cceribit View Post
    Considering she was 10 yds from the car, she didn't 'leave' the car or the child I find it ridiculous. Especially seeing the chick in Ohio that left her kid in the car, who died, while she moved the car half a dozen times throughout the day and stopped to get donuts and crap. Got off b/c she claims she just 'forgot'. And the worst that came of it were people were upset that she kept her job at the school.

    This mom did nothing IMO wrong, I would have done exactly the same in the circumstances.
  4. Loving Life!
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    #4
    I think it's a excessive.

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  5. Darkly Dreaming Dexter
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    #5
    That's not leaving your child in the car - leaving your child in the car is when you go shopping or go to work and leave your kid in the car and they die or something.

    And she was even helping the poor!

    No - definately not worth an arrest or jailtime. That's just abuse of the legal system, right there. That wrong.
  6. Navy Wife
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by cceribit View Post
    Considering she was 10 yds from the car, she didn't 'leave' the car or the child I find it ridiculous. Especially seeing the chick in Ohio that left her kid in the car, who died, while she moved the car half a dozen times throughout the day and stopped to get donuts and crap. Got off b/c she claims she just 'forgot'. And the worst that came of it were people were upset that she kept her job at the school.

    This mom did nothing IMO wrong, I would have done exactly the same in the circumstances.


    100% agree!
    She did nothing wrong.
    Do not take life too seriously, you will never get out of it alive
  7. Senior Member
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    #7
    I dont think she did anything wrong. She was pretty much right there.
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    #8
    I would have done the same thing. The car wasn't out of her sight...it wasn't in dangerous temperatures in the car...the car was locked...IMO she did nothing wrong. The fact that she was arrested is rediculous...
  9. Darkly Dreaming Dexter
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    #9
    So - does this mean that I can be arrested when I go to the station to fill up my tank and after sliding my card and filling up it tells me to 'see attendant' - if I step in the store without all of my children I'm going to be arrested.

    Or - what if I'm needing to use a payphone at a rest stop - only they're not accesible by vehicle - am I suppose to take all of my kids with me, then, too?

    See - they do this ONCE and it allows for all sorts of other stupidity to follow.

    Really - where are these vigilent cops when kids really need them? How about all those times when a child is abandoned for 8 or more hours in a busy parkinglot and left to die?
    Goddamn - where are these cops when kids are abused and mistreated and chained to potty chairs and tied to a fence!!

    ARGHHH
  10. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Sponge View Post
    That's not leaving your child in the car - leaving your child in the car is when you go shopping or go to work and leave your kid in the car and they die or something.

    And she was even helping the poor!

    No - definately not worth an arrest or jailtime. That's just abuse of the legal system, right there. That wrong.
    I totally agree, 10 yards is nothing.
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