“I’m a good mom who made a horrible mistake,” says 27-year old Cherish Peterson of Gilbert Arizona. She now finds herself charged with child endangerment.
Peterson is the mother of four young children three of whom she loaded up to take with her to run a quick errand. She needed to buy candy for her nephew’s birthday party. Peterson says she parked at the front of the grocery store and only took 2-month old Huxton inside with her.
She put little Huxton, still in his car seat carrier, inside the large part of a grocery cart to do her shopping. Peterson says she was rushing around trying to find the candy and had a moment of absent-mindedness. Still, how do you forget a 2-month old baby?
She apparently paid for her purchase and went back out to leave the store. She had left two other children in the car, one of them a 3-year old who asked her, “Where’s baby Huxton?” It was at this point, as she was pulling into her driveway, that she realized Huxton was not in the car with them.
The Phoenix police officer who found him says baby Huxton wasn’t injured or in any distress when he found him in the grocery cart. The officer took him to a hair salon while the search for the mother began. Witnesses say it took two hours to find her; Peterson says it was only 40 minutes.
This has caused a firestorm on social media with mothers standing up for Peterson. The hashtag, I Stand with Cherish has been trending on Twitter and a Facebook page defending her has popped up. Others say she was probably ‘a bad mom who must have been drunk.’
What do you think? Should Cherish Peterson be charged with child endangerment? After all, she did leave her helpless two-month old son alone in a grocery store, but is absent mindedness a good excuse?