Mom Shouldn't Be Arrested for Sleeping While Toddler Wandered Off

Jacqueline Burt Cote

sleeping momAm I the only one who feels for the poor mother who was arrested when her 3-year-old was found wandering outside of a hotel down the street from their home in the middle of the night? Listen to the details. I promise you'll get one of those that could have been my kid shivers.

The 22-year-old mom wasn't drunk. She wasn't on drugs. She hadn't left her child home alone. She was sleeping. Sleeping, in the middle of the night! Imagine that! (Like most moms, you probably can't, but you might at least have a faint recollection of the fact that sleeping is not usually considered a crime, not before you have kids anyway.) Samantha Boyd was sleeping when her 3-year-old son simply woke up, opened the front door, and walked out of the house. Shivering yet?

Thankfully, the little boy only got as far as a hotel down the street when a bartender looked outside, noticed him, and of course, called the cops. Shortly thereafter, Boyd woke up, saw her son was gone, freaked out, and called the cops herself. That's when they arrested her. Huh??

Okay, I'm trying to see this from the side of the law enforcement officials, I really am, and I understand that they see abused, neglected kids all the time and that it's better to be safe than sorry. Perhaps procedure dictated that Boyd had to be arrested. But I can't stop imagining what it must have been like for her to wake up and realize, through a groggy haze, that her son was missing. Did they tell her he was okay before they arrested her? Did she know where he was, or who was taking care of him while they put her in cuffs?

It's likely that the only mistake Boyd made that night was forgetting to deadbolt the door, though in my experience, a 3-year-old can be shockingly adept at working locks, so maybe she didn't even "slip up" at all. I just hope that when Boyd goes to court in a couple of weeks to face charges of child endangerment that the judge has the same reaction I did: That could have been my kid.

Do you think Boyd is guilty of any crime?

Image via Nicolaitan/Flickr

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