Mom Charged With Endangering Her Kids When She Runs Out to Pick Up Dinner

mom charged with endangerment

What was probably supposed to be a pleasant evening for a family on vacation ended with a mom of two facing charges for endangering the welfare of her children. Susan L. Terrillion, 55, left her 8- and 9-year-olds in their vacation rental while she drove to pick up a take-out dinner and returned to find herself in trouble with police. 


When the family's dogs escaped from the Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, beach rental, naturally, the brother and sister went out in pursuit of their pups. A witness, who said the dogs ran out in front of his vehicle, got out to help the kids get control of their dogs and realized they'd been left home alone.

Though the restaurant where Terrillion went to pick up dinner was reportedly just five miles away, police said the kids were unchaperoned for at least 45 minutes. She was subsequently arrested, charged, and released on $500 unsecured bail.

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Thankfully, neither the children nor their pets were injured. But, let's be honest, this story could've had a much different ending if the driver hadn't stopped in time. As parents, if you leave your kids alone and tell them to stay put, you really have no way of knowing if they'll do that. 

In this case, they went out after their pets ran away. But who's to say they wouldn't have answered the door for a stranger or just decided to take a walk on the beach by themselves after they got bored waiting for their dinner? 

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We're sure this mom, knowing that the restaurant was just five miles away, intended to be back in no time. But you can never really account for traffic, a potential accident, or just things taking longer than you'd expect for no good reason. 

And, as parents, we know, it's often so much easier to run an errand alone versus corralling the kids and taking them along. But there have been so many heartbreaking instances of what can happen when kids are left by themselves -- whether in the car or in the home -- that unless they're a bit older and have the maturity to care for themselves and possibly a younger sibling, it's often far safer to pack everyone up and take them with you. 

Even if you think your child can handle him- or herself, under 10 is still awfully young to be left alone -- or placed in charge of a younger sibling. If you think about it, you'd probably never hire a 9-year-old sitter, right? Charging this mom with child endangerment may seem extreme to some, but when you think about what could've happened to her children while chasing their dog into the street, some may think she got off lightly. 



Image via Petr Bonek/Shutterstock 

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