Mom Tries to Leave Toddler With Police, Gets Arrested

Julie Ryan Evans

Tierra AldridgeA woman in Chicago tried to leave her 3-year-old son at a police station because she didn't want him anymore. Tierra Aldridge, 24, told officers if they didn't take him, she'd leave him on a curb.

"Maybe he'll get killed or raped or something,"she told them before trying to leave.

Her first mistake (at least as far as this specific incident goes) -- threatening police officers.

The second was walking into a police station with drugs in her possession.

Officers, who followed the woman out of the station, found them and arrested her. She was charged with "endangering the life of a child and possession of a controlled substance".

I get the drug charges, but endangering the life of a child? It seems to me that she was trying to do at least something right.

While she certainly could have gone about it in a different way, and an officer did offer to help her contact Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, at least she tried to help her son instead of countless other things desperate parents do to their children.

I hate the message this case sends to other mothers who may be in a place as dark as the one in which Aldridge clearly was. I would hate to think any child was neglected and abused because a mother feared the repercussions of getting help.

Illinois does have a Safe Haven law, but it only allows for children who are 30 days or younger to be left at a hospital,emergency medical facility, staffed fire station or police station.

Only 30 days?

I know there are agencies designed to help parents in these situations and rules to be followed, but when you're so desperate that isn't always a reasonable or easy option. And I don't think anyone should be punished criminally for trying to come up with an option -- any option -- that removes a child from a harmful situation. 
Do you think she should be charged with child endangerment for trying to leave her son with police?

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