I read the blogs citing the injustice of arresting a mother who only was trying to find a ride for her son visit his grandparents. For a moment, I mentally jumped on that bus........... until I bothered to read the facts of the case.
Sheila Sherrie Joyner of Marietta GA was arrested and charged with contributing with the delinquency of a minor after she tried to arrange a ride for her 9 year old son to visit his grandparents in Macon GA. She wasn't arrested for trying to arrange a shared ride for her son....... she was arrested for the method she chose to pursue his ride.
For whatever reason Sheila had, she wasn't going to drive her son the approximately 100 miles to his grandparents home in Macon. There have been many who state that it is unfair that a 9 year old could not ride the train or bus by himself, so she was really left with no other choice than finding a ride for him. Sheila went to Craigslist for that ride and contacted a Georgia man who had posted that he was looking to share his drive to Sarasota FL.
This still may not raise many questions about whether this was really a good choice for her son. The driver was the person to contact police about the ride share. It seems that Sheila never made any attempt to meet the man, spoke only in texts to him and knew him only as "Eric" with no last name. I am not sure that I would have contacted the police but maybe Eric should be viewed more as a good Samaritan than the bad guy. He knows whatever had caused him to call the police.... maybe he feared a rip-off, a set-up for abduction charges or molesting. Whatever his reasons, Sheila ended up texting with a police officer to finalize the ride for her son.
It wasn't even Sheila who showed up at the Racetrac gas station on Delk Rd with her son. She had her babysitter bring the boy to set off for Macon and Sheila had told her that Eric was a friend who had offered to take her boy south. Police arrested Sheila shortly afterwards at her apartment and charged her with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Her bail was set at $1,000 but she remained in jail on Tuesday......... it seems that she had a little matter to clear up, such as failing to appear on a different criminal case.
Evidently Sheila decided that it would have been too difficult to have her son and someone like her babysitter, take the bus from Atlanta to Macon. That choice would have involved a 20 mile drive to Atlanta and the cost, one way for an adult and child of $28.00 if she bought it the same day online or the standard ticket, same day of $47.25. The drive itself from Marietta to Macon is approximately 100 miles and would take about 1 1/2 hours one way, so I think paying a friend to drive the three of them round trip would still have been an affordable and safe option.
The driver known as Eric should be commended for his concern and protection of the child. Sheila could have arranged for a ride with anyone else, possibly someone who could have done harm to her son or just vanished with him. She knew nothing about this man and probably would have known as little about anyone else she arranged a ride for. Instead of having her son safe, which is where he is because of Eric's actions, we could be listening to Sheila's pleas for her sons safe return...... from someone she never met or knew more than his first name. I doubt that she asked her babysitter to even write down a license plate number, description of the car or description of the man Eric........... remember, she told her that Eric was a friend of hers.
Before we all rush to blitz the web with the unfairness of Sheila's arrest and award her the "Mother of the Year" award, we should take a serious look at how much danger she really did place her 9 year old son in and the poor choices she made. Besides, if you did want to give her an award.......... she probably would send her babysitter to pick it up.