A Mississippi mother was arrested and charged with child neglect after police discovered her 2-year-old son wearing only a diaper at a Walmart while the weather outside was below freezing.
The Byram Police Department did not respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment, but several electrical outlets reported that police arrested the woman at a Walmart around 10:30 a.m. Jan. 17 after an employee took video of the child in the store wearing only a diaper.
The temperature that day was 20 degrees Fahrenheit and there were colder wind chills.
The employee who filmed the video, Felicia Darling, said WJTVthat she was later fired for posting the video.
Shoppers dress the child
Darling confronted the mother in the store.
“He’s just an innocent soul. He didn’t ask to be here, so I took action and started recording him. A few minutes into the video, she threw… she threw cold food at the baby, and he was sad and just looked down. It seemed to him that he was just looking for help. He was calling for help,” Darling told WJTV.
Darby told WLBT that only after customers approached the mother did she take off her coat and wrap it around the child.
“You are a mother, a child represents you,” Darling said WLBT. “And if you walk into the store fully dressed and your son isn’t, that says a lot about your character and it goes a long way to showing that you don’t care. How could you walk into Walmart all dressed up and know a lot of people are looking at you? She probably thought no one was going to intervene, but you know, we did.
In the video, another customer could be seen buying clothes for the child and dressing him. The mother, who police later identified as a 26-year-old woman, could be seen scrolling through her phone.
Mother charged, child removed
A police officer could also be seen walking behind the child’s mother as she left the store. Officers learned that the child, who was still shivering from the cold, had been dressed by other customers at the store, WAFB reported.
Police then arrested the mother and placed the child in a warm police car. The 2-year-old was evaluated by first responders, and Child Protective Services then released him to a licensed parent, the outlet reported.
The woman was booked into the Hinds County Detention Center.
This article was originally published on USA TODAY: Mother charged after son shivers while wearing only diaper