|Don't let your Cell Phone Handcuff You !|
Over the last couple of years, the Gateway city has seen an increased number of arrests of young mothers for either child neglect or child abandonment. In one particular case, the mother was actually out looking for the child only to find out that the police had found him wandering around the neighborhood by himself. Consequently, the mother was arrested and booked at the Webb county jail. I belive the child was allowed to stay with relatives.
This specific case made some people wonder whether or not the police had maybe over-reacted just a little. I happen to agree that when it comes to children's well-being, it's best to err on the side of safety- which is essentially what happend in this particular case.
In consideration of the above, I halfway expected to witness another young mother being arrested Friday night in Laredo's Westside. Incidentally, the West Side probably sees more arrests than just about any other part of town- with the possible exception of the South Side. Anyway, I'll continue with my story. It was about 11:30pm this past Friday when I saw a little boy, probably about 4 years old walking, seemingly alone, along Santa Maria, about a block away from the Super S food store. I kept looking to see if an adult was anywhere nearby but I could see none. Upon extending my field of vision, I could finally see a young female walking about three quarters of a block behind, chatting on her cell phone.
In the meantime, the kid was gettting nearer and nearer to the next intersection. A car pulled up to the stop sign ahead of the little boy and then proceeded onto Santa Maria. Anyone wanting to abduct the poor kid could have easily done so. At about this time, a police car drove by and slowed down just a bit. Almost simultaneously, the "mom" put her phone down momentarily and starting calling out to kid, yelling out a few times, "ven p'aca!" or something to that effect. By that time the LPD car had resumed its normal crusing speed and driven off.
It probably wouldn't have hurt any if the cops had given that cell-phone mom a good talking to. Irresponsible parents plus the addictive nature of cell phones do not make for a safe combination, even in the quiet, late night streets of ol' Santa Maria road.