Police Investigating Mom Who Nodded Out On Bus, Put Daughter in Danger

Police have launched an investigation of a Philadelphia-area mother (whose name has been withheld) after a video of the woman nodding out on the bus went viral yesterday. And while video evidence of the mother's behavior is likely going to be something that the police and social workers take into consideration, it's been frustrating for everyone involved that no one called 911 or did anything besides film the incident.

"When you have a person doing the 'heroin nod' and a little girl is trying to hold her head up, that's horrifying," said SEPTA Police Chief Tom Nestel.

"There's very little reason why 15 calls to 9-1-1 weren't received," he said. "I don't think there's anyone who can watch that and say, 'Ah, that's a shame,' and just walk away."

Philadelphia police spokesman Lt. John Stanford said he recognizes that some people are shy to get involved in other people's business but made it clear that if abuse is suspected, it's important that it's reported.

"...you can still give us a call, or notify the bus driver, or the conductor if you're on a train," he said.

"It's disturbing to see that little girl," Stanford added. "She can't be more than 8 or 9 years old."


More information about the effects of heroin (and other opiates) can be found here.

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Social worker PSA:

If you see something that you suspect is child abuse while out in public please call the police. A lot of times people feel like they need to be "sure" that what they are seeing is abuse, but that isn't the case, it is up to the police and the child protection workers to do the actual investigation; it is not up to you. Also, if you see a parent hit a child I know it may seem like the right thing to do to intervene, but please don't make scene. In all likelihood the parent will just go home and abuse the child more as punishment for "embarrassing" them. So again, if you see something that makes you feel uncomfortable for the child, please report it! Thank you!