Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: Children still being left alone in cars

Letter by Stan R. Sidor, Tacoma on April 3, 2012 at 11:01 am with 9 Comments »
April 3, 2012 11:18 am

Incredulous. That was the only word that could describe the scene I witnessed today in Tacoma, as a young man left his car running, small child strapped into a child’s seat in the car’s back seat, and ran into a store to return an item.

While he was gone mere seconds – insufficient time for me to even dial 911 on my cell phone – someone easily could have just hopped into the car and sped off, child in tow.

What is behind someone doing this? Is it arrogance? A sense of invulnerability? Or, mere stupidity? Whatever – it is shocking, disturbing and criminal. I only wish a police officer had been present and witnessed this lack of common sense.

After all the recent news reports of cars with kids being driven off because their parent or the responsible adult couldn’t be bothered to just turn the car off and take the child with them, you would think the message had gotten through. It hasn’t, and probably never will.

Leave a comment Comments → 9
  1. BlaineCGarver says:

    Narc…..I’ve waited until someone has returned,and told them myself.

  2. cclngthr says:


    Apparently it is a problem, where when I was a kid, it was acceptable.

    I would not confront such a person, I would let CPS and police decide how to do it. Having a parent who was a CPS caseworker, I suspect she would remove the said children from the care of the adult and order that parent to undergo specific training/issues to prevent them from repeating the behavior. If the behavior continues, adopting out the children will be necessary.

  3. BlaineCGarver says:

    It’s a problem, and after thinking about it, you are right. I’m big and ugly enough, and people tend not to talk back to me….I’m just sad that society has morphed into brown shirts, instead of neighbors.

  4. cclngthr says:


    What I would think about is if the person had a weapon, or chose to fight. Blocking in the car is an option, however, informing the police and CPS is necessary in these cases. I sometimes carry a firearm, but that is dangerous to use around kids.

    I would consider the act as child neglect and should be reported.

    Society is much different now, and if you think it has morphed into brown shirts, you have to think about who you are coming across. You don’t know if the person is a sex offender, or someone innocent enough to do the right thing. We now have to fear everyone. Even I don’t go around my own family because of their issues with interactions. I don’t trust them.

  5. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Incredible how ‘soft’ our society has become.

    If this child was in danger, you would not have stepped in?

  6. cclngthr says:

    Having a parent who’s job it was to remove kids from the parents care, I am more aware of a volitle situation that can be when you step in without police present. Even my mother, who did this, always had police present when she removed a child from the parents care.

    I doubt you would step in either without police presence.

  7. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Ccl, you are right and my comment was too brief. I would not step in either (I only would if someone tried to take said child other then the parent). But if I found the case egregious, I would at least state something to the parent.

    If the guy went into a gas station or something like that where he could see out to the car, this is a non-story.

  8. cclngthr says:


    I hope you know it is against the law to have a car running unattended; even if it has remote start. It also is against the law to leave a young child unattended. While I don’t know how young this child was, (I’m assuming the childs seat is either a booster seat or baby style seat) a child needing a child seat is too young to leave unattended.

    The guy leaving the physical presence of the car still violated the law. Having visible contact with the car is much different than physical contact, and according to the law, physical contact has to be made to comply with the law. This means the child is with you at all times.

    If this sounds as we now must helicopter children, yes it does.

  9. Never Never Never leave children alone and unattended in a car whether its running or not. Not even for a few moments. I had a cousin who as a toddler, was left in a car that was off and in park, and it was only a moment before the car was down a hill and over an embankment.

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