US

Charge Dropped Against Mom Whose Child Urinated in Public

By Wire Service Content

Charges have been dropped against a mother who let her 3-year-old pee in a gas station parking lot.

The case was dismissed on July 11, with the state’s representative saying in court that the law didn’t fit in this situation.

“The mom was trying to be a good mom,” lawyer Ben Allen said on behalf of the state. “The child had an emergency come up, and Mom took care of the emergency. That’s what we expect of all good moms.”

Brooke Johns was facing up to 60 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.

The incident occurred March 29, when Johns—then nine months pregnant—was driving in Augusta. Her son told her he was about to pee his pants, but by the time Johns pulled into a gas station parking lot, she realized they wouldn’t make it to the toilet.

“He was peeing before his pants were even all the way down, so obviously he had to go,” she said in April.

Johns, who was told by her doctor not to pick her 3-year-old up because she was nine months pregnant, added that they couldn’t make it inside a gas station after pulling over in the parking lot.

“I can’t pick him up,” Johns told WRDW-TV. “You know, I’m not supposed to lift him.”

Johns was unable to carry the boy due to being just weeks from giving birth. She said she did what she thought was the next best thing, covering him as he urinated in the parking lot.

Johns also noted at the time that “accidents happen. And [the officer] was like, ‘Take him in the bathroom.’ What if I would have ran in the bathroom and someone had been in there? What was I going to let him do? Pee on the floor of the gas station?”

A Richmond County Sheriff’s deputy saw the incident and gave Johns a citation for disorderly conduct.

“She allowed her male child to urinate in the parking lot. I observed the male’s genitals and the urination,” the officer wrote on a copy of the ticket that was obtained by WRDW. “Public restrooms are offered at the location.”

The citation sparked a lot of backlash on social media from parents.

A person who said they worked as a police officer thought the charge was excessive.

“I’m a cop. There is letter of the law and spirit of the law. I pulled a woman over with a $5,000 warrant. She had her two kids In the car. Low-income neighborhood. I told her about the warrant and let her go,” he said. “The kids would have to go to some sort of foster home, even if it’s for the night until we get in touch with family and do that process. She would go to jail and also have to pay for the car being towed and everything. Sometimes you have to make the humane call.”

After the case against Brooke Johns was dismissed on Thursday, the Beech Island, South Carolina, woman says, “I’m glad it’s over with … I can breathe.”

Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

2019 CNN Trademark