Supermarket Turns Absent-Minded Pregnant Mom's Shopping Trip Into a Nightmare

Grocery StoreOh, thank goodness. Safeway has apologized to that couple who were arrested at a Honolulu grocery store last week after the wife, who was then 30 weeks pregnant, scarfed down a sandwich or two while shopping and then forgot to have the wrappers scanned in order to pay for it. The supermarket chain has also said it will drop all charges against the couple

That is very good news indeed. But is it really enough to compensate the couple, Marcin and Nicole Leszczynski, for what they've been through? Not to mention their poor 2-year-old daughter, Zofia, who was unceremoniously yanked from their company and hauled away by Child Welfare Services -- and not returned until 18 hours later?

I'm not sure it is.

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Honestly, these poor people have been through a complete nightmare. Sure, they made a mistake by forgetting to pay for the sandwiches -- which totaled $5 -- along with the rest of their groceries (for which they paid $50). But when store security approached them and they tried to pay, the security people wouldn't let them. Instead, the store hauled the couple into an upstairs room, held them there for hours, and eventually called in the police to read them their rights, cuff them, and drag them (separately) to the police station. That's just absurd.

But the worst part is thinking about what happened to little Zofia. Mom Nicole said that, as the situation escalated, she tried to hold it together for the sake of her daughter -- "I didn't want Zofia to be scared because she's never spent a night away from us. She didn't have her stuffed animal. She didn't have her toothbrush." As soon as Zofia had been yanked away, though, "I got completely hysterical. I went to the bathroom and I threw up," Nicole told the Associated Press.

Thinking about that moment is enough to make the rest of us parents pretty nauseated, too. I'm no in-store snacker, but who hasn't been in one of those crazy situations where someone in authority refuses to listen to reason? It's particularly upsetting to think of your child becoming a casualty of one of those out-of-control moments.

The Leszczynskis say they're not sure whether they will pursue legal action against the grocery-store chain. It seems pretty clear that Safeway mishandled the situation and unnecessarily traumatized their little girl. If taking legal action could prevent such a thing from happening to another family, another child, you know what? They really might want to consider it.

Do you think the Leszczynskis should sue Safeway or should they just try to put the unsettling episode behind them?

 

Image via katerha/Flickr

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