Drs: Mom Arrested For Sending Son To Park Alone + Too Overprotective?


The Doctors: 7-Year-Old Sent To Park Alone

On The Doctors, Dr. Travis Stork asked how many people walked to school by themselves when they were younger. Just about everyone raised their hands except for Dr. Rachael Ross, who explained that she grew up in a bad neighborhood.

Dr. Ross shared that even in Chicago, they have what are called “safe passage zones” where police officers are escorting kids to school. Dr. Stork shared that the story he had to share with everyone, really made him wonder “oh, how times have changed.”


Drs: Mom Arrested For Sending Son To Park Alone + Too Overprotective?

The Doctors discussed the Florida mom who was arrested for sending her son to the park alone. (Johnny Habell / Shutterstock.com)

A news report shared the story of Nicole Gainey from Port St. Lucie, Florida. Nicole let her son Dominic walk to Sportsman’s Park, the same way she had many times before. The park was only a half mile away from the 7-year-old’s home. Little Dominic was approached by people asking him where his mom was. He said he ran away to the park to play and by the time he got there, police were there questioning him about the whereabouts of his mom.

Dominic was driven home by the police and his mom was charged with child neglect without great bodily harm and arrested. Nicole said that her own bondsman told her that his parents would’ve been in jail every day.


The Drs TV: Mom Arrested For Sending Son To Park

The police report said that Dominic was alone at the park and numerous sex offenders resided in the area. Dominic was allowed to go to the park by himself because Nicole was confident that he was mature enough to do so. He’s only allowed to go during the day and Dominic is given a cellphone which his mom calls often.

Nicole is now facing five years in prison.

As part of The Doctors 7 unhealthy sins countdown, number six was being too overprotective.

Dr. Stork read that where Nicole and Dominic live, for the fourth consecutive year, had the lowest crime rate of any Florida city. Dr. Jim Sears said the situation really bothers him because if the kid can’t go to the park then the alternative is to sit at home and play video games. He said kids have to get out and explore.

The Doctors: Florida Mom Arrested For Child Neglect

Dr. Sears said there is no state law determining the age that kids are allowed to go out unattended. He said it all depends on the child, the situation, and the environment.

Dr. Rachael Ross said the problem is that we need to “revamp the system.” She said that Nicole even made her son a case to wear around his neck to the hold the cellphone so he wouldn’t lose it. Dr. Sears said that Nicole is a good mom.

Dr. Jennifer Berman argued that parents claimed the kid was acting strangely and when he ran away from them, that’s what sparked them wanting to call the police. Dr. Ross said the police officer could have just taken Dominic home and explained the concern, rather than hauling her off to prison.

Dr. Stork said if you’re overprotective and you never let your child explore, that isn’t right. As Dr. Ross pointed out, there’s even laws saying that convicted predators cannot live within a certain mileage of a park, so to say that the child was at risk because of that was a bit of a stretch. Dr. Ross said “the police made a mistake on this.”


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