The “Nanny States of America” – Mother Arrested for Allowing 7-Year-Old Son Walk to Park Alone

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 3.15.05 PMI remember all throughout my childhood hearing tales of how my father and his friends would run around for countless hours playing all over his Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn neighborhood. He and his friends were quite young and completely unaccompanied. His mother was busy at home, and he cherished those moments in between school and dinnertime. In fact, the many stories he told my brother and I always came with a nostalgic smile related to the memories of those fleeting, precious moments of “dangerous freedom.”

Naturally, things could get dicey at times. In fact, the most popular and nearly tragic tale he used to tell had to do with this one older bully they nicknamed “Egg,” simply because his head was pointy at the top just like an egg. One late afternoon, “Egg” took hold of my dad and his friend and tied them up to a tree. Had my grandmother not gone out to find them in time, there might have been a serious problem. Nevertheless, despite this random act of tree-tying egg inspired aggression, my dad would never trade those hours of independence for anything.

Let’s now fast forward to my youth. I also grew up in New York City, but my home was across the East River on the island of Manhattan. I went to school in the city, and by the time I was in about 4th grade many kids were taking the public bus to school all by themselves. I begged my mom to join in, and despite being very hesitant, she ultimately relented. I was only 9 or 10 years old at the time. This was NYC in the 1980s and all sorts of stuff could and did go wrong. Nevertheless, I started taking the bus by myself and it fostered an early sense of independence and freedom. Looking back, I’m really glad I did that, but I’m even more relieved they didn’t charge my mother with a felony for it.

Things have changed a lot since then. In modern America, if you are an average citizen you more or less do not have any rights at all, particularly if you are one of those domestic terrorists we calls parents. Take the recent absurd example of Nicole Gainey, a Florida mom who was arrested for allowing her 7-year-old son walk to a park by himself. No, this is not from The Onion. From WPTV:

Port St. Lucie, FL (WPTV) — A mom faces a charge of child neglect after she allowed her son to go to a park alone. She says he’s old enough but Port St. Lucie Police disagree. Now she’s fighting back.

“Honestly didn’t think I was doing anything wrong,” says Gainey, “I was letting him go play.

It’s a half mile from their Port St. Lucie home. Dominic says it only takes him about 10 to 15 minutes to get there. During the walk, the 7-year-old passed a public pool. Someone there asked him where his mom was.

“They asked me a couple questions and I got scared so I ran off to the park and they called the cops,” says Dominic Guerrisi.

Police took him home. That’s when his mom was arrested and charged with child neglect. Gainey says she was shocked.

“My own bondsman said my parents would have been in jail every day,” says Gainey who paid nearly $4,000 to bond out.

Gainey plans to fight the felony charge. But after this she won’t let Dominic go to the park alone. She’s afraid she’ll be arrested again.

The St. Lucie County State’s Attorney’s office says there is no law that specifies how old a child has to be before he or she can go somewhere unsupervised. It’s done on a case-by-case basis.

So a mother is charged with a felony for letting her son walk to a nearby park, yet we can’t put a single banker in jail for the financial crisis. Justice. American style.

Repeat after me: USA! USA! USA!

For more examples of citizens being treated like worthless cattle by the “justice” system read:

Connecticut Man Arrested for “Passive Aggressive” Behavior to a Watermelon

New Jersey Threatens to Take 13-Year-Old Student From His Father Due to “Non-Conforming Behavior”

Hyper-Sensitive Illinois Mayor Orders Police Raid Over Parody Twitter Account

Charleston Man Receives $525 Federal Fine for Failing to Pay for a $0.89 Refill

The “War on Street Artists” – Puppeteer Unlawfully Arrested and Harassed in NYC Subway

Video of the Day – Thuggish Militarized Police Terrorize and SWAT Team Iowa Family

Full article here.

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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9 Comments

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  1. What is this? I was around 8 years old in London – my mother would give me bus fare to go to the library a mile away. Most of the time I walked and spent the money on sweets. By 8 years old I was roaming the neighborhood on my own and I was a girl. What insanity is this?

  2. the idea seems to be that your children are not your to raise according to your own standards and common sense; but the standards and laws of the collective, to which your relationship with your child is subject.

    An individual parent is a dangerously incompetent simpleton who is not trained in child rearing psychology and practice. The typically childless experts in the almighty science of child rearing and development will step in to ensure that new livestock err human capital will be raised to respond in ways that conform with current politically expedient doctrine.

    The state knows what is best and will ensure that your child is examined and efficiently raised by the most competent clinicians. May you experience the peace and tranquility of Llandru.

  3. In my neighborhood, we have a kid who I’ve seen running around, sometimes with no shoes, by himself, since the age of four. Of course, I live in northern rural town of about 1000 people, so a lot depends on context.

    Anyway, I sincerely hope this guy doesn’t end up taking some bullshit plea, paying a fine, and having a mark against his name for this nonsense.

    This whole case seems like another good candidate for jury nullification.

    What is maddening though, is the creeping encroachment of the state in our relationships with our children. It is like the state wants to dictate to parents in as many ways as the state can think of, and parents will let the state get away with. But of course, as usual the state has no good plan – no long-term view. The state has no idea what do with children, other than make them weak-minded consumers and spectators.

    It only seeks to make other parents fall in line with its will through fear.

  4. According to a friend, the children in Southern Germany (where he lives) take public transport to school — unaccompanied — at quite a young age.

  5. could the cop just bring the kid home if they were confused and tell the parent. WHY DO THEY HAVE TO ARREST ANYONE?

  6. While I agree arresting the parent is extreme, I have to say that in my opinion 7 years old is WAY too young for a child to be walking alone, especially to a park that is a half mile away. That’s a 10-15 minute walk, not counting the amount of time he’d be at the park, alone. This is not the 1940′s. You can’t turn on the news without hearing about another child getting kidnapped. People want to compare the era they grew up in and say it’s ridiculous, “I went alone all the time.” Well, so did I, but I would never let my kids walk around anywhere if I couldn’t see them. That’s just asking for trouble. It’s simply not worth the risk. But again, arresting her is pretty stupid. A fine or even a warning would be enough.

    • Michael Krieger

      Actually, the facts say paranoia about random child abductions are completely exaggerated and misplaced:

      There isn’t much evidence to support such fears. The most recent study on abducted kids was a 2002 study on children abducted in 1999. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the study found about 200,000 abductions that year. Of those, 58,200 were “non-family abductions.” But the vast, vast majority of those kids were abducted by friends, acquaintances or boyfriends. Just 115 fit the “stranger swipes kid from public space” scenario that Harrell’s critics fear. Lenore Skenazy of Free-Range Kids points to another study that found that just 3 percent of homicides of children under age 5 committed between 1976 and 2005 were committed by strangers.

      http://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2014/08/02/becoming-paranoid-kids-parks/13414285/

      Best,
      Michael Krieger

  7. I’m from Asia, and this reinforces our view that Americans are stupid. And their police, morons. Their legal system, preety on the outside, rotten inside. We actually have more ‘real’ freedom here.

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