Mom Faces Jail Time for Totally Innocent Mistake (VIDEO)

mom arrested for leaving kids at nail salon

I have been pretty outspoken about how strongly I feel that parents shouldn’t have the police called on them for making choices that — while different from the choices I might personally make — are not actually dangerous or criminal in nature. The mom who left her 4-year-old in the car for a few minutes only to be charged with neglect after a “Good Samaritan” reported her, for instance. But I’m torn about this recent story involving a Port Richey, Florida, mom who may be facing prison time for leaving three children in the car while she had her nails done.


Samantha Kenly Moore is a 25-year-old mom who left her two young sons, 8 and 6 years old, and her 11-month-old nephew in the car when she visited the Nail Box Salon in Port Richey. She says,

I asked my 8-year-old, you want to come in with me, I'm just running in for five minutes. He said, 'No mom, I will sit here and read and get my homework done.’ My oldest son is a smart kid, he knows to lock the doors. He knows that if someone comes up that he does not recognize to honk the horn and scream.

Moore ran in to have a nail repaired, which she thought would only take a few minutes. It ended up taking 15, during which time she said she could see her car for the entire time. At one point her 6-year-old ran in to check on her, then returned to the car.

Someone spotted the children and called the police, and deputies arrived on the scene and arrested Moore in front of her children. She has spend a night in jail and now faces a felony child neglect charge, which could mean jail time if she’s convicted. A conviction could also mean Moore loses her nursing job, and DCF is investigating the family’s home situation.

Here’s a news clip on the story:

Moore is terribly upset about the whole ordeal and says she never put her kids in harm’s way:

I love my kids, I love them more than life itself. And anyone who knows me knows that's not me.

Oh, god. I really feel for this woman. I am sure she’s going through hell, and I don’t think she deserves to face jail time for making this choice.

But at this point, I guess I’ve seen enough of these stories that I’m not surprised someone called the police. I’m sorry they did and that they didn’t check with the kids or even look for the mom first, but this seems to be the world we live in. People aren’t looking out for each other anymore, they’re reporting each other because we believe the worst.

I don’t think there’s any way I would have left three kids — including a baby — in a car while I ran this sort of errand. A repaired nail can be done another time, even if it’s not a hot day and the car was visible. However, I might have considered doing this if I were, say, running into a pharmacy to pick up medication ... but not anymore. I don’t think I’m ever leaving my kids in the car again, no matter how safe I personally believe they are.

Do you think this mom should serve jail time for what she did?

Image via ABC/WFTS News

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