Swede probed for leaving baby outside US eatery
The Local/dl · 17 Aug 2011, 08:34
Published: 17 Aug 2011 08:34 GMT+02:00
The incident took place last Friday outside the Bueno y Sano taco bar in Amherst, Massachusetts in the eastern United States, according to several media reports.
“We’ve received a report of suspected mistreatment of a child. It’s under investigation and we plan to look into whether the child is in safe hands,” Cayenne Isaksen of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
The Swedish mother left the infant outside the eatery while she went in to order tacos, leaving the child unattended for approximately 10 minutes, the Reuters news agency reports.
She told police that she “found nothing wrong with the situation”, emphasising that it was common practice for Swedish parents to leave young children unattended outside a restaurant.
The case is reminiscent of a similar incident which took place in New York in 1997 when a Danish woman left her 14-month-old daughter outside a restaurant.
The woman was subsequently arrested and the child placed in a foster home until a court later revoked the move.
The Danish mother was later awarded $66,000 in damages following the incident.
Despite the Swedish mother’s defence that it was common to leave infants outside cafés and restaurants in her home country, other patrons of the Bueno y Sano taco bar maintained she had exercised poor judgement.
“I’d never do something like that and I think it’s irresponsible behaviour,” local mother Stacey Dalmau told Aftonbladet.
However, police in Sweden are doubtful as to whether the incident would be considered a police matter in Sweden.
“The child wasn’t in danger and the mother claims she had an eye on things,” Kjell Ahlin of the Stockholm police told the newspaper.