Thursday, August 09, 2007

What Would You Do??

I'm going to put this up here and also on Gift of Gab because I'm still so shocked by it that I wanted to share it with the masses to see if I over reacted or under reacted or reacted just enough....

As I was coming out of my counseling appointment on Tuesday I walked down the stairs of the office building and passed a car parked closest to the door. The back door of the car was open and in the car sat three little children.

One little boy was about 5 or 6, the little girl was 3 or 4 and the other little boy was still in a car seat, I would guess 9 months to a year. The youngest little boy was visibly sweating (it was after all 93 degrees outside, I can only imagine what it was in the car) and the oldest little boy was playing with a can of starting fluid.

I could smell the strong smell as he took paper towels and was spraying it on them and then wiping the tires. (I have no idea what he was hoping to accomplish, I'm guessing it was boredom.) Since the smell was so strong outside of the car I can only imagine how strong it was inside the car.

As I passed these kids I thought to myself, where is their mother? I then proceeded across the parking lot, got in my vehicle, and pulled out. I made it about 100 yards before I pulled my car over and called my mom. I asked her for the non-emergency number to the police department and then I went back to the car and parked two spaces down from it.

As I was on the phone with my mom the mother came out with some water. At this point it had been at least 5 minutes that these children were alone in the car. Enough time that if I wanted to I could have kidnapped them all and she would have been none the wiser.

She gave the youngest some water and then wiped the sweat from his head. The oldest boy got out of the car and ran up the steps and into the office building. The little girl followed him leaving just the baby in the car. It was at this point that I dialed the non-emergency number as the mother once again walked up the steps after her two oldest children leaving the infant unattended.

Once she got the two oldest back to the car I'm pretty sure she knew I was calling someone. She was not a large woman probably my build and wore a "cape...(I don't know what they're called)" over her head. My other thought was maybe in her culture it is not a problem to leave children in the car....

As she put the kids in the car, the oldest with no seat belts, the dispatcher asked me to tell him where she was going. So I followed her. At first there was a car between us but pretty soon I was right behind her and I'm pretty sure she knew I was following her. We traveled down the street where she drove really slowly and then eventually pulled over and was watching to see what I would do in her mirrors.

Not wanting to cause a huge confrontation I pulled around her and watched her do a u-turn and go back the other way. I'm not sure if the police ever found her because by the time I got turned around she was gone.

After talking to Shane on the phone he says he would have blocked her in and not let her leave or pulled in behind her when she pulled over. Is it legal for me to do that?? Now, two days later, I worry about those kids. If she left them once, she will leave them again. Next week they are talking about highs in the 100's.

So, what would you have done? Would you have confronted her and tried to keep her there until the police came or continued to follow her when it was obvious she knew you were there and didn't want to be followed?


Gullebarn said...

I don't think I would have confronted her. You never know how people are going to react. Did the police get her license number? Can you call them to see if there was a follow-up based on your information for your own peace of mind? For what it's worth I think you did exactly the right thing. The starter fluid thing is really scary. One spark and they would have gone up in flames.

Shane and Jessica Olson said...

I would have done the same thing Shane said.
What would you have wanted people to do if they saw Spike in your Jeep while Jake ran into "that" house? Or even further yet took Spike into "that" house with him?
That lady knew she was doing something wrong or she wouldn't have acted so guilty.
I would not have let her get away....she could have answered to the police.

OldMotherHubbardSharesAll said...

Shane is a man it is different for a Man to confront and block in. (It's also easy for people who aren't in the situtation to think things through with hindsite and give advice....which is what I will do now. hehehe)

I would have made sure the police had her license number and my contact information (which you didn't really say if you did or not) and would have done the same thing you did I would have passed her when she pulled over and wouldn't even have tried to turn around to follow her. Even small women can carry guns you know :)

KK's Mom said...

I think you acted appropriately. The license plate number would have been good. I probably would have called 911 immediately, but either way, at least you did SOMETHING. Some people would have walked by and ignored the situation altogether. This mom needs to learn a thing or two...a reminder from the police of how dangerous this situation was wouldn't have hurt. Good for you for acting on it!!!!!

Shannon said...

I would have done the same thing you did. This is funny how I ramdomly came across your blog and realized you are in am I, I am in Ankeny and work downtown. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever run into the people who's blogs I read.

Shane and Jessica Olson said...

HMMMM - Maybe Shannon could join us for real estate sign swapping and mall stories. LOL
Old Mother Hubbard....Last time I checked the planes still fly here! :)

Anonymous said...

I would've done the same thing. You had every right to. That's insane I have an 8 year old and a 23 month old and NEVER leave them in the car unless I'm running into our small town gas station I pull it right up front and leave the car running but lock all the doors. (My 8 y/o unlocks them for me when i come back) Even at Wal-Mart I always make sure I park near a cart corral and I start my car while I'm unloading groceries and when it cools off I put my kids in and then put the cart away. This is common sense. This woman needs checked. AND NO you couldn't BLOCK her in, that's harassment and YOU could get in trouble for that. SO don't take Shane's advice. That's a burly man talking lol.