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Charges Against Treffly Coyne Dropped

Have You Ever Left Your Kids in the Car?

Update: The charges have been dropped.

Carting kids to and from your vehicle is part of being a parent. But, sometimes it hardly seems worth the hassle when you are stepping just feet from the car when dropping a letter in a mailbox or running an errand in full view.

A Chicago mother of three is now paying the price for leaving her sleeping tot in a locked and alarmed car while walking less than ten yards away for a few minutes.

According to an MSNBC article:

But that was long and far enough to land her in court after a police officer spotted her sleeping 2-year-old daughter alone in the vehicle; Coyne had taken her two older daughters to pour $8.29 in coins into a Salvation Army kettle.

To see the charges she faces,

. Treffly Coyne, 36 was arrested when she returned and has been charged with child endangerment. Today, she goes on trial and if convicted, faces one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Child welfare workers found no evidence of abuse or neglect.

What is your opinion on this case? Have you ever left your children in the car?


Join The Conversation
supermommie supermommie 9 years
NO! NO! NO! I don't mean to get on a soapbox but the most precious thing that I have in the world is my little girl. They are so serious crazies out there. I may be over protective and I may be "that mom" but if it means my little girl is safe then I don't mind the snide remarks. What if someone stole the car not knowing the child was inside (that has happened a few times here in "Hot-lanna". It's too risky. Take the extra time to take all three kids or don't do it at all. SM
ohjeeze ohjeeze 9 years
PEOPLE ARE SO PARANOID. Another car can hit the parking car, the car can SPONTANEOUSLY BURST INTO FLAMES. All of that stuff can happen while the parent is in the car with the child. Have you ever sat in your parked car terrified that it would burst into flames or that another car might smash into you. The only reason I wouldn't leave a baby in a locked car with the windows down for a quick second is because I'm afraid of people that are going to see the baby, call the cops, and have me arrested. Geezze!!
Lolafox Lolafox 9 years
I have left my son in the car to run back into the house too. But it is a closed garage.
meandtheo meandtheo 9 years
I too leave my daughter in the car for dry cleaning! I basically stand there waiting with one foot outside the door, but I do it. And she is fine and this is fine, in my opinion. Be smart about what you do, use common sense and everything should be fine. This is a case of silly out of control police; of course the charges were dropped, it is just silly.
anniekim anniekim 9 years
A couple of years ago there was an episode of Oprah dedicated to this subject. It wasn't a balanced view--more of series of horror stories of kids that died or were trapped in cars that spontaneously burst into flames etc. But it did put the fear of God into me on the subject.
precious_pets4 precious_pets4 9 years
I am SERIOUSLY AGAINST leaving child in LOCKED cars in ANY PUBLIC PLACE. On more than one occassion I have pulled into a parking lot and spotted a sleeping or awake infant or tottler strapped into a car seat alone in a car. EACH TIME I have stood by the car, waiting for the parent, and timing their absence. One time it was 15 minutes! And who knows how long he (it was the dad) gone before I got there. When the parent returns I go nuts (nicely?) and explain the dangers. The child is not safe even if the car is locked! What if another vehicle hits the car? What if it goes up in flames?? A locked door at that point could meet the difference between life and death. No one knows for sure that, "Nothing's going to happen.." But how would you feel if something did? Think first -- then act...
GeriAnne1932 GeriAnne1932 9 years
Well if this woman gets in trouble for a child in the car for a brief moment, what are they going to do about the people who leave thier pets in the car for hours....even with alarms and cracked windows....there has to be a line, people...a common sense line and if you don't have enough common sense to know when and when not to lock your child or future child or pet in the car, perhaps you should think about having children or pets...that being said, if this woman was not mentally stable, then she did need to learn a lesson perhaps this was what was needed. It doesn't sound like that though, so it's just ridiculous. Oh, and speaking as a non-Mom, I can understand that things get quite harried and no one is perfect, all of our moms made people should just chill out.
Fatica Fatica 9 years
The only reason that there would be anything wrong with this situation is that what if something happens to you where you absolutely cannot get back to your car or tell anyone that your child is in there. It's unlikely, but it could happen.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
i do this all the time at the atm. i'm about 15 feet away and there is no one else in the parking lot (it's early in the morning when i go). there was a big stink in downtown san francisco (i think) about a year ago because some out of towners (europe i think) left their kid in a stroller outside the restaurant. the police came and the people were like "what's the big deal" apparently this is a common thing in some places. if your child is right there in your line of vision, w/i a few yards of you and there is no immediate danger to them (car isn't running) i think it's fine.
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
I agree that it's way too harsh and waste of resources. It was a few feet and the car was locked and the alarm was set I don't see the huge problem. I haven't done it with my son, but then I haven't had ever had the need.
LiLRuck44 LiLRuck44 9 years
Wow I feel so bad for that mother and the family. What a horrible experiencce with the three children and the police all in a WalMart parking lot. I would be so angry if people came in my house to snoop around. At least it's over and everyone is alive.
babysugar babysugar 9 years
I'm guilty. When I pick up my dry cleaning, I park next to the door, close and look the car doors and walk the 10 steps into the cleaners with an eagle eye on the car. And, I always make sure there's no line. If I ever have to wait, I'd go stand by the car but so far, that's not been a problem.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I had no idea she was just feet away and the car was within sight. To me this is a waste of resources. I remember my Mom leaving us in the car when we were younger to run into the store quick. Now-a-days you could not do that sometimes I think we go to the extreme!
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
charges were dropped... just saw this online:
bushra bushra 9 years
omg, last year i was in the supermarket car park when i noticed two little girls in a car, one under a year and the other approximately two years old strapped into their car seats. no parents in sight! okay, it's one thing being overly protective with kids but leaving them in the car like that? i felt unable to leave the car and waited until their mother returned, whose eyes almost popped out of her head when she saw us waiting around her car. this was before the disappearance of madeleine mccann and i can only hope that that mother has since reconsidered leaving her girls in the car like that. it really sent shivers down my spine.
PJ-PJ-PJ PJ-PJ-PJ 9 years
I don't think she should be prosecuted. It's not like she went in the store or the car was ever out of her sight. My parents used to make us wait in the car, if we were being bad, but that was over 20 years ago. I certainly would not do that now.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
The reaction to her is extreme, yes. But no, I wouldn't do that with a child that age. With my 7-year-old, I'm ok running a few yard from the car. I've run back into the house for a few seconds for something, but I pull the car up to the front steps so I can see it, and our house is really secluded. Anyone coming wouldn't be able to make it to the car before I would. *lol*
stina829 stina829 9 years
I did the same thing this morning wingedkiare! :) I just locked the doors and took off up the stairs, grabbed the bag and ran back down. I don't think I've ever gone up and down those stairs that fast before. And when I got to the car and opened the door to put the diaper bag in, my son was looking at me like I was a mad man! (probably cuz I was huffing and puffing so much, lol) :)
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
The only time I ever leave the kids in the car is when my car is parked in the drive way not running and locked and it's only if I forgot something I have to run in and get really quickly. AND one of my kids is 8 and before I had her little sister who is shortly going to be 2, I NEVER left her in the car. I was totally paranoid to leave her even for a minute.
kiwitwist kiwitwist 9 years
I think this is crazy!! If she went in to a store then maybe a warning but not arrested. What is the world coming to really? I remember my parents leaving me in the car all the time when they were doing something quick OR if I didn't want to go in (older obviously). It is sad that you cannot trust anything, that is the way these kids are being brought up. Not that I am saying they should be left alone but I hope you know what I mean.
wingedkiare wingedkiare 9 years
Wow. I left my kids in the car just this morning - I'd just spent the 15 minutes getting them into the car from our apartment and realized that I'd forgotten one of their diaper bags for daycare. So I locked the doors (windows were cracked open) and dashed upstairs for the bag and ran back down. But that's it. I never leave them in the car when we're out running errands, no matter how quick I think the errand will be.
luckyme luckyme 9 years
Agreed with the others who think this is a little on the extreme side. However, I would never leave my child in the car, no matter how quick I planned on being. It makes me think of the story from last summer where a woman left her infant in the car all day and the baby died (I know this happens fairly often, but this story was really heavily publicized). I guess she forgot the baby was in the car. I'm certainly absentminded some days, but I don't think it's ever slipped my mind that my baby was behind me.
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 9 years
I think it was a little extreme, yes. But the message should be clear. I have left my son alone while going to the grocery store ATM. BUT...I parked right in front of the ATM, he was 10 feet away for less than 30 seconds. And he was about 9 yrs old. Unfortunately an officer did pull up and tell me to move my car. I wasn't supposed to park there. I did move, of course. A minute later when he drove off another car pulled up and did the same thing...of course not getting caught!! LOL. I think it all depends on the age of your child, the weather, and the amount of time you will be away from them. I would NEVER leave an infant for even a second. Or a toddler up to age 7 or 8. I would also never leave my kid for more than a minute or two. And only if my car was in sight and easy to get back to quickly. I remember a woman at Easter Seals where my son used to get physical therapy accidentally locked her keys in the running car with her 5 month old asleep in the back. She was frantic. Luckily the air was running (it was South Florida and about 95 degrees out). I yelled for a large man nearby and he broke her window to get into the car. Baby was fine, of course. But it has to be scary!! I do NOT understand anybody who could leave a baby in a hot car and then they die. How do you "forget" your child??? Its just not thinkable to me.
LizL LizL 9 years
I don't believe she should have been arrested. That's a little extreme. There should be a middle ground. I remember in 1994 my neighbor left a foster child in the car during the summer. She thought her daugher brought him in the house and the daughter thought that the Mom brought her in the house. It was a mistake, but the child died. Neither the Mom nor the Daughter got prosecuted...but she was no longer able to house Foster children.
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