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Monday, March 2, 2009

 

Woman Breastfeeding, Talking on Cell Phone While Driving Is Ticketed

Breastfeeding while driving gets woman a ticket

Kelli Wynn 

Dayton Daily News

Staff Writer

Friday, February 27, 2009

 

http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2009/02/27/ddn022709breastfeedweb.html
Note: Above link provides the actual 911 tape!
KETTERING — A Harrison Twp. woman faces child endangering charges after police said she admitted to breastfeeding her child and talking on a cell phone while driving, according to Kettering Police Officer Michael Burke.

The incident happened about 7:45 a.m. Thursday, Feb., 26, near the intersection of Far Hills Avenue and Dorothy Lane, Burke said.

A male motorist called the police department's non-emergency number to report that he had seen the woman breastfeeding and talking on a cell phone while driving, Burke said. The man reported that he also witnessed the woman driving a Honda minivan into the parking lot of a local school and saw some children get out of the van. The man then got the van's license plate number and called police.

"I'm following right behind her right now on Far Hills Avenue," the caller said as he spoke to a Kettering dispatcher in a recording of his non-emergency call that was released by police on Friday, Feb. 27.

"I tried to say something to her. She literally has the little girl on the steering wheel and I said, 'I can't believe you have that kid in your lap and she said, 'You want to pop your titty out and breastfeed this kid?' That's what she said to me. I'm like, 'You can feed your kid when you stop.' It's like wet out here. It's full of traffic. It's ridiculous. She's got like three other kids in the car."

The police came to the area and tried to locate the van, but could not find it. So they used the license plate number to track down her contact information, Burke said.

When a police officer spoke to her, she admitted she breastfed her child and also told police that she does not deprive her child when the child is hungry, Burke said.

The officer took the information and presented it to the city prosecutor's office. That's when Genine Compton, 39, of Elm Grove in Harrison Twp., was charged with a first-degree misdemeanor of child endangering and minor misdemeanor for unlawfully restraining her child, which Burke believes was under 2.

When police were unsuccessful with serving Compton her ticket and a court summons at her home on Friday, Feb. 27, an officer went to the school where the witness saw her drop off the children on Thursday morning. The officer used the descriptions the witness gave to locate Compton at the school and serve the tickets and summons, Burke said. Compton was not arrested.

When asked why the tickets and summons couldn't be mailed, Burke said, "It's legal documents. We have to personally serve them to the defendant."

If convicted of the child endangering charge, Compton could face up to 180 days in jail and fined between $1,500 and $1,800, Burke said. If convicted of the unlawful restraint charge, Compton could be fined up to $150.

"Our issue is not the fact that this woman was breastfeeding in public," Burke said. He added that Compton would have been charged even if the child was just sitting on her lap. "Our issue is that she created the condition that placed her child's health and safety at risk."


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