posted on Jan, 27 2008 @ 09:58 PM
What is the outcome of this case? I stumbled across this story and it really hit home. I too live in the midwest and although Ohio has no law, I ran
into a store very briefly and was charged with child endangerment. My children were 4 and 6 and although not asleep, tired from playing as we had
played tag and strolled around in the beautiful botanical gardens. The temp was 60-65 degrees (Oct weather)and I locked my door, the car was not
running. The town has 5300 people total. I have NEVER done anything illegal in my entire life! Never tried drugs, I didn't even try alcohol until I
was 21 (which is overrated IMHO, I can't stand it)! Yet there I was with tears streaming down my cheeks while this officer stated 3 times that he
could take me away to jail and call my husband (who was at work) to get my children.
I am a Registered Nurse. My entire occupation has centered around children. I've been a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse and a very good one at
that. I love what I do and yet, with this charge, if convicted, I would lose my nursing license and part of my identity. My husband and I had recently
attended hours of training and endless paperwork to become foster parents as we'd hoped to adopt a child in need.
We weren't hoping for a 'perfect' child. Race didn't matter, we'd hoped for a school aged child which by the way are in dire need to homes, as
many people want to adopt infants. I'd had my eye on a wonderful little girl with cerebral palsy that is in the adoption photolisting.
The prosecutor made it just perfect for him in that he stated he would do everything he could to get me convicted unless I would plead no contest to a
minor misdemeanor of disorderly conduct instead. I still have no idea how that charge is a lower form of the former charge. He even stated at one
point that if there was a case to be dismissed it would be this one, then said, "but I DON'T dismiss cases."
I felt like I had to plead no contest to the disorderly conduct, which I later found out is the same as being intoxicated in public or possessing a
certain amount of marijuana. To be a foster parent, having a conviction of drugs is OK, even a DUI is OK, but if you run into a store for minutes and
leave 2 well behaved kids in a cool locked care, your dream is over.
The officer stated in his report that my children "did not appear to be in distress and in fact were smiling and looked happy"
Thankfully, my nursing license is safe as the Board quickly closed the case, yet we don't know about our ability to foster/adopt (most likely not).
My heart has been shattered as is my faith in humanity. The woman who called the police the second I stepped out of my minivan could have certainly
spoken to me, yet she stayed and stared at me smiling while I cried hysterically. I'll never forget seeing her watching me.
Like this suburban mom's children, my children are also fearful of policemen. My son used to proudly announce that he wanted to be a police officer,
but no more.
I do hope that the outcome was positive for this mother. I have requested permission from the police department which arrested me (but did not take me
to jail BTW) to educate the public about leaving kids in a car in that they will face serious consequences, but my request has been unanswered. My
guess is that this is how this particular small town makes a partial income, by arresting unsuspecting citizens and collecting fines from them.
We are considering moving 2500 miles back to where we previously lived. It's toxic for me to be near this town with the horrendous memories.
thanks for letting me vent