Police ticket woman for letting 2-year-old son pee in public

Ron Recinto

A Philadelphia woman is peeved after getting a $50 ticket for allowing her 2-year-old son to urinate on a street.

Caroline Robboy told NBC 10 Philadelphia that her son, Nathaniel, who is learning to potty, asked to go to the restroom while they were at a clothing store in the city.  When the store refused to let them use their facility, Robboy took her family outside.

Nathaniel ran to a traffic light pole and began to relieve himself, she said.

"I told him to go over to a grassy patch and make pee," Robboy said. "Next thing you know I have an officer giving me a police ticket for public urination!"

The officer wrote on the citation that Robboy had instructed Nathaniel to urinate in public.

According to the NBC 10 report, the officer also lectured Robboy, a mother of two, on parenting.  Robboy quoted the officer as saying, "I'm doing this for your own protection because, God forbid, there might have been a pervert out there looking at my son."

She said it's not the fine that irks her, but the attitude her son might take from this experience.

"I want a place that feels friendly to me, where my children feel safe and have positive experiences with police officers," she said.

A police spokesperson says the department gives officers discretion with misdemeanors such as this. The police department is waiting to get the officer's perspective before it takes action, NBC 10 reported.

This incident comes on the heels of another story that fueled the debate on potty training in public.

Earlier this month, a Utah woman snapped a photo of a mother placing her diaper-less toddlers on portable seat-top potties at a restaurant. She posted the photo on Facebook, and it received so much attention the social media site pulled it down.

Erica Brown, a spokeswoman for the restaurant where the incident took place, told KSL-TV they received several complaints about the incident.

"I think state and local health codes were probably an issue, as well as just social norms," Brown told the TV station.