A homeless mother in suburban Phoenix was arrested and had her children taken from her after police discovered her two kids, aged two and six months, locked in a car at an office complex, while she was inside for an interview.
Scottsdale, Ariz., police said a witness reported a child crying from inside a Dodge Durango parked at an office complex on March 20. Police said that Shanesha Taylor’s two children were left alone in the car with the engine off and the windows slightly cracked. The car was left parked in the sun and all the doors were closed.
AZFamily reports that the kids had already been in the car for at least thirty minutes when police arrived. Police report that Taylor, 35, returned from her job interview about 45 minutes after officers came to the scene and told police that she didn’t have anyone else to care for the kids while she was on an interview at an insurance company.
“She was upset. This is a sad situation all around. She said she was homeless. She needed the job,” Scottsdale police sergeant Mark Clark told KPHO.
Taylor is being charged with two felony counts of child abuse. She remains in jail and her children have been put in the custody of Child Protective Services.
Taylor’s arrest has pulled at heartstrings and ignited an online fundraising drive to help with her legal expenses. By Friday, Taylor had more than 975 supporters, and had raised more than $27,000 — three times more than the initial $9,000 goal.
The fundraising site acknowledges that Taylor made a “terrible mistake” but notes that Taylor was trying to make a better life for her family.
“There are a lot of us who feel she was just a victim to what an economy like this is putting struggling families through,” Amanda Bishop, who organized the fundraiser, told KMGH.
Taylor can’t seem to win for losing. Some people condemned the mother because she left her children in the car, but are also the same kind of people who would denounce her if she stayed at home and subsisted on welfare benefits.
As for the felony charges? While Taylor acknowledges that she made a poor decision; does the punishment fit the crime in this case?