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Cops: Mom Went To Taiwan, Left Girl, 13, Home Alone For Week

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Leaving your child home alone while you make a quick run to the store is understandable. Doing the same while you to go to Taiwan for the week is probably not a good idea.

However, that is exactly what one Westchester County woman is accused of doing in late March.

Authorities charged Winifred Chaffee, a single mom, with misdemeanor child endangerment for allegedly leaving her 13-year-old daughter at her Croton-on-Hudson home alone while she went to Taiwan from March 21-28.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones gets reaction from area residents

According to the woman’s lawyer, Chaffee had previously been out of work before receiving a business contract overseas. The woman told authorities she left her daughter home to attend school.

Police said Chaffee tried to justify her actions by saying she provided the child with plenty of cash, credit cards and prepared meals for the time she would be away.

Police said that after two days alone in the home, the girl told a friend whose family insisted she stay with them while Chaffee was away.

Residents in the neighborhood were shocked to hear the news, using words like “crazy,” “stupid” and “unbelievable” to describe the situation.

“The extremity that she brought it to is a little bit on the bizarre side,” one man told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones.

Another woman said Chaffee should have had a relative or friend look after her child.

“That’s an accident waiting to happen,” the woman said.

Psychologist Gilbert Backerman said no matter the maturity level of the girl left home alone, police had little choice but to bring charges.

“They have to take whatever potential harm could arise, rather than what actually happened. It may have been a perfectly fine situation, but they had to intervene,” Backerman told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

Chaffee’s lawyer told CBS 2 it was an unfortunate situation. He said his client did try to make sure the child was adequately looked in on and that Chaffee was not a bad mother.

Chaffee appeared in court this week and is now free on her own recognizance. Her next hearing is scheduled for April 28.

SOUND-OFF: Got an opinion on this story?  Let us know in the comments story below…

More from Al Jones

One Comment

  1. doc says:

    I started working at 12 “off-the-books” – and was responsible for my own transportation and lunch money to and from the family-run fish store for whom I was employed. I’m a doctor now. Not sure this would even have been NEWS 25 yrs ago.

  2. nyc_reader says:

    Let me point something out to you: not everyone has enough of a social support network to have a friend willing to take in a teenager for a whole week. Perhaps SOME posters here would respond “yes” this type of request, but lots of you posting would NOT say yes. Furthermore, that lady may not have family in the area. My own parents decided New York is too expensive and have now left the area. My sister got a great job offer elsewhere so she doesn’t live around here anymore either. I do have friends here I’ve know half my life, along with aunts and cousins who remain in the area, so I don’t think I’d be caught in this lady’s predicament. But maybe she was new to the area, or new enough that she has a lot of acquaintances but few real friends (there is a difference). I know some of my neighbors by face but except for one household, I would NOT trust my neighbors with my precious children. I’ve NEVER left my children with a neighbor, and I’ve been in the same place for years. I see them display habits I don’t like, hear them use language I don’t permit in my home, and don’t know what too many of these people do behind closed doors. Just because somebody lives on your block does or in your zip code NOT mean you can trust them with your child. While I don’t think it’s a great idea to leave a 13 year old alone, I also realize the mom was in a desperate situation. It’s not like she left the girl alone so that she could go party for a week. She needs help. She needs social support, such as help finding a mom’s support group; maybe that way she could find a trustworthy mom or two to help her with babysitting and vice versa in critical situations like this one. She does NOT need stones to be thrown at her.

    1. Anthony says:

      I agree 100%.

      Working people do not qualify for any type of help in our society. To get help, you have to be an unwed mother who is a drug addict or a drunk. To such people the government will give help. But, not to law-abiding hard-working citizens.

      Perhaps we need a French-Style Revolution in the US.

      We are over taxed and over-regulated, just like in mid 1700’s.

      Personally, I hope that Asterino (the County Executor) filres the who DA Office and starts from scratch.

    2. Debbie says:

      Finally intelligence behind a story…

    3. Mensrea77 says:

      I agree with you, none of my neighbors raise their children the way I do. From language, ethics, racism, drugs and so on, I could never ask them, even for one minute to care for my boys.I even know of one neighbor, whose brother smoked majijuana right while taking care of the kids! This Mom did it, so she could get a job ; she made sure the child had everything, and I am not saying she was right to leave a 13 yrs old, but I have seen too many cases where children are left behind so the parents can get stoned or drunk.

    4. NoNannyState says:

      All quite true, but in addition: THIRTEEN IS NOT A CHILD. This appears to be a sensible, responsible teenager, whose mother desperately needed that job to support both of them. The neighbors who are not supportive and use such language explain why the mother couldn’t turn to them! Don’t idiotically punish this woman for what MIGHT have happened! If everyone is to be imprisoned for what MIGHT have happened in his/her life, the planet will be one huge prison! Find her husband, whom she could not ask to assist his teenaged daughter, and punish him.

      1. deb says:

        she is a child you moron

      2. fred says:

        The child was smart enough to manager for herself. The mother is an irresponsible idiot who should not be allowed to be a parent. Where is the father? We have laws addressing the care of children. No matter how smart or mature the girl is, she is still legally a child and must be cared for by a responsible adult. The neighbors took better care of the poor girl than her own idiot mother. What a disgrace. She should be in jail. Period. Idiot mother goes to Taiwan to get a job? She is insane. There are millions of jobs here. Get one. If you can’t get a job, you are worse than a bad parent, you are a complete loser also. All the newspapers and websites have thousands of local jobs. Get one, or maybe two. No excuse to not have a job. Anybody who claims they can’t find a job is an IDIOT and that is probably why they don’t get hired.

    5. DTJA says:

      Agree completely. This poor woman is trying to provide for her daughter. If she’d gone on welfare instead we would be slamming her for being a leech. Women can’t win these days. Darn if you do, darn if you don’t…

    6. fred says:

      So then you don’t go to Taiwan! Or if you could afford one ticket, get a 2nd ticket. How about looking for a real job right here in America??

    7. fred says:

      She went to freaking Taiwan!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s not like she went to a job interview in town or even to NYC. She left the country. She abandoned her child. The kid didn’t know when or if she might ever return. How horriying for this girl. How horrible that you have to grow up without a father in sight apparnetly, but are stuck with this nightmare for a mother.

    8. nicole says:

      I agree.

      1. nicole says:

        with nyc reader i mean.

  3. ericm says:

    This is just another case of the media having a slow news day. The media and the cops should take a beat, and leave this woman and her daughter alone. I’m sure the woman knows whether her daughter is capable of being alone for a week. It’s not like she handcuffed her to a radiator without food. Sheesh. I hate the human race sometimes.

  4. Anthony says:

    In the 1800’s, 13 year old women were married and raising children.

    More and more, I grow disguisted with our country.

    We use to be The Land of the Brave and the Home of the Free.

    Now, we are The People Who Are Subjected And Regulated.

    I live in Westchester County. Put me on the jury and I will find the woman innocent of all charges.

    The Westchester County DA has nothing better to do. Perhaps we should can the whole DA’s office? For, if they have nothing better to do, then they are clearly not needed.

    Think I will write a letter to Astorino suggesting that the whole lot of them be terminated.

  5. Steve says:

    Much ado about nothing. God forbid the police go out and stop rape, murder, drug trafficking–oh that’s risky. Let’s bag the 13 Y.O and the out of work mom. Don’t worry 1010 wins will back us up.


  6. earl says:

    just media try to make boom to make money and be famouse even this is not so important,government try to take some money from her.kid is not infant anymore.she can cook,wash,even manage the exact clothes for her likes,have big cash amount.even credit card,good house.she not asking for any to other she did’nt complained…she is mature enought for that very few days withouth mother,she has everything just the present of the mother for that days…beside mother providing for their needs.people must be happy because they are both stand their own firmly withouth asking help from other or disturbing the government…im sure all broad minded will laugh to the government if they try to put her to jail or finalty or whatever,,,,,,,,,,

  7. Moral Truth says:

    This is obviously insane. You do not leave a child home like this for an extended period of time unattended.

    It is bad enough a moms baby innocently sneaked out of the house and was arrested for child endangerment.

    Is Ms. Chafee a leagal United States Citizen.

    The police need to inform us and thats the moral truth

    1. joey says:

      The mother couldn’t have returned to the US if she wasn’t legally in the country in the first place.. Stupid racist di*k!!

      1. Anthony says:

        If I were the mother, I take my kid and get the hell out of the US. Clearly, we are no longer a free society.

      2. Moral Truth says:

        joey I am not being racist you idiot.
        She could have gotten arrested at the airport.

        Please shut up before making racist accusations and thats the moral truth.

      3. Spoiled Brat says:

        She’s here legally in what should be an illegal way. She paid to be married for the time it takes to become a citizen through marriage. I think it’s 2 yrs. I was offered $50K to be married on the books for 2 yrs. I am a patriot and said no! Imagine I gave up $50k at 20 yrs of age for my country. I’m an idiot. If you don’t like that law than you probably don’t like the law that makes anyone who is born in the US a citizen. Consider who you vote for next time. We need a kick-butt President next time. One that will kick the butt of this Pres. right out the door.

    2. Laura says:

      What does her nationality have to do with it? That was NOT THE MORAL TRUTH. Also, the girl is 13 – not a baby like the other incident.

      1. fred says:

        She’s a child until 18. Your and so many other posters are horrible parents. No wonder so many kids get into trouble (drugs, booze, sex) while still just kids/teens. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOE THEM 24/7 until they turn 18. IF you are so irresponsible then you should turn your children over to the state to be adopted by someone who will CARE about the kids. You are all a disgrace.

    3. Just A simple Mother says:

      I’m very sure you have many personal bad problems in your life and in your family!
      That’s why your agressive behaviour against this situation, this mother.
      Make clean in your personal life first! Be sure about that!
      After all only the God has the right to judge the others!
      Who is this “us”? (police inform us)

    4. C.J. says:

      The 13 yr old friend’s family did good in watching over her, but they did not need to report her to the police. That was stupid.

      1. fred says:

        Yes they did have to report it. What if the mother never came back for some reason? (She died, got sick, got arrested, visa trouble, etc.) How long was this family supposed to care for a girl they have no legal authoruity to keep in their home? They did a grea thing by taking care of her and abided by the law in reporting the idiot mother.
        What I am seeing on these postings is frightening.

  8. liberty says:

    Best bet…get the hell out of america….land of the free…my ass!
    Asians are much more intelligent and capable at everything and no doubt, the 13 year old was capable of doing as she was expected by her mom….no thanks to the liars of congress, senate, supreme court and the president who cannot comprehend the correct thoughts of american freedom before the police state policies

    1. Mark C says:

      Hey Lib, did you forget to take your meds this morning?

  9. Jackie says:

    A week is a long time for a 13 year old no matter how mature she is. I agree she could have been left for maybe 2-3 days on her own, but even at 13, that could be scary. But, my parents left me in charge of my 5 year old brother when I was 9 back in the late 70’s!!! Not for a week, but for an overnight and we survived. That mom should have made arrangements with one of her daughter’s friend’s parents to have her over the week the mom was away. I don’t think she should have to go to court for this.

  10. Eak says:

    Daughters don’t mean all that much to a
    lot of people.
    It’s boys that rock.
    Everyone wants a son.
    This woman would have never left a
    son behind. She would’ve either rejected
    the job offer or taken him along

    1. What Freedom? says:

      No mother can live behind a good for nothing son, now a very capable daughter is a different story. In a third world country 10 year olds girls babysitting other kids for a day, cook , clean, bath them etc, no one gets acuse of child abuse or abandomment, every one admires her and expect it. The child understand the helping mom is helping everyone.A roof over the head and a good meal on the table is more important then bordom and helplesness.This same kids by the time they have a family ar experts at caring for them, no need for a school or a book about “How to take care your new baby”.Let worry about something more importan Americans! and that is: “The goberments messing up our future” but always finding money to fight a war.

  11. Carmen says:

    This is ridiculous. A thirteen year old can babysit and take care of children and she can’t take care of herself for a week? It would have been different if she had been left with no cash, no food and no place to stay as happens all the time in the USA. How about the parents who force their kids to run away from home because their life is unbearable? Why not put those parents in jail? The woman was not working and was desperate for work to support herself and her daughter. This is ridiculous. I bet many of the people criticizing her have done much worse.

    1. Laura says:

      Agreed!!! Very well said.

    2. fred says:

      She went to another country people. What don’t you understand about the legal resposnibilty to care for a child until they are 18? Yes, the kid may be able to do it for a day or a week. That’s not the point. Legal . Legal. She was arrested for violating law. IF she got a job in taiwan was she going to commute? was she going to send money home to Westchester once a week and call ? WHAT ???? She eft the country and abandoned her kid. Why doesn’t she get job in town? Job wesites have thousands of jobs . Get one or two.

  12. betrix says:

    I usually travel abroad for 8-10 days for business. My kids 10 and 12 yo rest alone at home. They’re going to school everyday, they prepare their home works, they are going for all their extra school activities. They’re cooking some grill, fried potatoes, eggs, salad etc for themselves, they’re cleaning in the kitchen after. they take care for their tortue and an iguana. They take care for my orchids and my flowers. They are very good kids with very good results in their activity in school maths especially, arts, violin and dance. They are very good kids and can manage themselves in all situations.
    So, nothing bad until now.
    Question is: American law protect the children against a mother who left her daughter alone for 1 week but not unprotected because she is 13, she has friends, she had money etc.
    but american law can protect the children in the school when somebody (a gunman!) come inside and kill a lot of children?
    If mother is at home and daughter could take drugs or get drunk in the school or somewhere outside of her home is better or worst?
    I think the education, a good talking together and a good understanding together and a good relationship between mother and daughter is the most important thing to protect your children.

    I think this situation about the great “concern” of US law it’s very exagerate and not in accordance with the REALITY of a single mother with children who has to take care about everything, to earn money, to keep her job etc.
    And this mother doesn’t seem to be a bad mother and very sure this is not a case of abandoning her child!
    Good luck to the mother!

    1. Anthony says:

      Put me on the jury. I will vote to aquit the woman.

      Then, I will press Astorino to fire the stupid DA.

  13. jim jones says:


    China > you

    @ Paul: Taiwan is not a country. It is a province of the People’s Republic of China. People from Taiwan are Chinese people.


    Tell that to the Taiwanese people and see what reaction you get Last time I checked Taiwan had its own flag and government

  14. jan says:

    What the hell’s wrong with the Americans, got nothing to do but pick on a struggling single mother who leaves her 13 year old home while she goes to make a living. If she’s on welfare and going for a holiday yes by all means throw the books at her but this is crazy/ In Asian culture, girls of 13 are very mature and understanding as well as taking all the home chores and study as well. Sometimes, they even care for their little brothers and sisters as well as their grand parents. The media is blowing this insignificant incident into world news. Did anything bad happened while she was away ? No, then why don’t you let them alone for chrissakes.

  15. Just me says:

    It’s OK to have your teen sail around the world alone, have the international community rescue them at sea, but not OK to leave them home in an emergency?

  16. Joe says:

    When I had to leave my son home alone because I work nights, I looked everywhere for a law that stated what age a kid could be left alone. There is nothing! I can’t see the government winning this one. There was no harm done to the girl.

  17. Peter says:

    This pretty Taiwan girl is great and courage.she trusted her 13 year old and the Asian 13 year old was great too and didn’t disappointed her mother either.Its a great family.I wish I had a wife ND a 13 year old I could trust that much and are able to take care of them self fully that much.the mother is a very yummy and beautiful women.I would loooooove to spend some time with her.please contact me if you think the same way MAMA !!!

  18. Armand says:

    In Asia there are girls who got married and have kids when they are 13 ffs

  19. Yuni Kitadai says:

    C’mon now… Macaulay Calkin was 8 years old in the movie Home Alone. I don’t recall the cops arresting the parents in that movie. I know it’s only a movie, but if you’re old enough to drive a car in Florida, you’re old enought to take responsibility of yourself. It’s not like the mother left her daughter to starve…

  20. cami says:

    YOU people do not understand in Asia this is common, and the children are nor immature as American children, at 13 they do so much more, their parents often leave, go away to other areas, fishing towns, and take jobs, for months, and they come back and all is fine. It used to be like that in the US many years ago, as well. Was not unusual.

  21. Alan Foos says:

    A minor lapse in judgment by not providing her daughter supervision, but a major lapse of judgment in failing to anticipate community reaction. Should not be treated as a criminal act, especially if the woman was attempting to secure gainful employment, that is not irresponsible conduct and it can be assumed rather easily that the daughter was well able to care for herself.

    1. yvonne says:

      This is not a criminal act, and what the police should have done is just the called a relative. The Neighbors elevated it a national disaster level. Hope they just dismiss the case with a warning!

  22. Mary says:

    One day I went to the beauty shop and left my 13 year old son home alone watching T.V. When I got back after two hours the cops were at my door step. They warned me never, never, never to leave my kids home alone.

    1. Laura says:

      That is ridiculous -how did they know he was home alone anyway? You must have a nosey neighbor with nothing better to do than cause probs or something.

      1. fred says:

        Every time there is story on the 11:00 news about three smnall children who were playing with matches that burned their house down, you see some mother outside the house screaming “My babies!”. Didn’t seem to bother her when she went to get her nails done. Suddenly they are “My babies.” BS. Take care fo your kids 24/7. Your hair and nails can wait. Mary was lcky the cops showed up and the boy was OK. Thanks for the nosy neighbor.

  23. xavier marion go says:

    I was driving a car when I was 13. What is all this fuss about 13 year olds?

  24. Ginjill Ashberr says:

    Perhaps, mom should have informed someone, neighbours, friends, relatives to look out for the girl. It’s common sense. That is the only mistake in this case. But taking legal actions against her is getting a wee bit too far. Maybe the story we know isn’t the whole story after all.

    1. Carmen says:

      The last thing she should have done was informed neighbors, that could have endangered her daughter because you never know if they or someone in that family has a criminal history. Even relatives are not always to be trusted.

    2. Rachel says:

      She did actually. There was a neighbor that the girl would text every morning before school and then check in with after school. She just wanted to sleep in her own bed. This news story just chose not to cover that part.

  25. XYZ says:

    Bring back mandatory sterilization, there are far too many idiots who reproduce. Having kids should be a privilege, not a right.

  26. Dean says:

    Maybe that’s the way the Chinese handle a situation like this.

    1. Paco says:

      Or maybe that’s the way ignorant racists such as yourself analyze a situation like this. Most Chinese people raise their kids well, but of course you have to focus on an exception.

      1. Paul says:

        And for both you of you, what makes you think this involves Chinese people? It says Taiwan not China, which makes this Taiwanese people. How about calling people forms the US Meixcans, after all at least you share a border. Taiwan and China aren’t even connected.

      2. China > you says:

        @ Paul: Taiwan is not a country. It is a province of the People’s Republic of China. People from Taiwan are Chinese people.

      3. Sandman says:


        Taiwan is NOT part of China. Taiwanese are NOT Chinese! The Taiwanese have freedom to think and choose how we want to live. The commie Chinese government doesn't give the Chinese people enough information to think let alone make any decisions of their own. Chinese can't even travel to Taiwan without special government permission, but Taiwanese can travel to China anytime we feel like it. We are free….Chinese are slaves to their oppressive government.

  27. Paulita says:

    Maybe if the police press charges on the parents of very young delinquents the society will be much better off. My point is, there are a lot of other much worse problems to solve, rather than pick on the hapless mother. Neighbors who commented “stupid” or “crazy” are being “holier than thou” believers. May I just say.. he who is sinless cast the 1st stone.

    1. DJ says:

      I think the mistake was leaving her child alone knowing the police were out there somewhere. Thank goodness the police did not pepper spray her child like they do in Colorado.

      1. DJ says:

        I don’t think I would leave the pepper sprayed kid alone

    2. ginjill Ashberry says:

      i totally agree, Paulita.

  28. D.Barto says:

    This is crazy. When I was 11 my parents routinely left me at home alone while they were serving in the Air National Guard and the government KNEW IT because they had to register my location in case anything happened to me. When I was 14 we adopted a 5 year old girl and I was home in charge of her. THERE WASN’T A PROBLEM!!!

    I’m sick of the nanny state. The girl was responsible in the eyes of her mother and there was no incident or accident to indicate that the young woman was in any danger at all.

    Government needs to stay out of our homes unless we invite them in. What ever happened to “Unreasonable search and seizure?” Same thing for unreasonable busybodying.

    1. DW says:

      D. Barto – I totally agree with you!!!

  29. Riphly George says:

    A better economy or one that doesn’t require a woman to go overseas to look for employment would be the best solution. Will you try working on that authorities?

    1. Anthony says:

      No they won’t. They are too in love with Obozo and the “change you can believe in”

  30. Corazon J. Pingul says:

    Well, I would not leave my 13-year old daughter alone at home. I would ask a relative to stay with her while I am away .

  31. Bob Smith says:

    Both this media report and the service men’s sayings are ambigous, Something could be really wrong when you left your new-born child home alone while you make a “quick” run to the store – do your hair, watching movie……

    I don’t see any big fault to leave a 13 yrs old healthy lady alone at home for one week.

    No wonder: some people are taking advantage of the system and making up their own cases to get welfare: stayed home parents claimed that their children were young or “sick” so that the parents can live on their unemployment subsidies and other SS benefits. (Not meant to offend anyone who has the need indeed to get welfare.) 😦

    1. Anthony says:

      Everyone I know who is on welfare is quite capable of working. The whole system should be terminated.

  32. bonet says:

    Now why would the government do that? With all these court and hearing , She is a single mom trying hard to support the family, now they have pay additional cost and stress to the family. Shame on the U.S. government!! too much government workers and they got nothing else to do .

  33. nosy cops says:

    Chinese parents leave their preteen kids home alone all the time. Big deal ! My friends and I all were left to care of our selves when we were growing up. No one burned down a house , got knocked up, or became addicted to Oxy. Go get the child molester next door.

    1. fred says:

      That “chld molester next door” may have done in this ppor child for a week while “Mother” was vacationing in Taiwan. And now her body is wrapped in burlap and laying on Gilgo Beach somewhere. Suffolk County cops are real good at finding bodies. Nice parenting you idiot.

  34. Peter says:

    There is a super simple answer to the question.If nothing happen,she shouldn’t be charged.Its to late now to do any more harm for something what could have happen but didn’t happen.Its a bad thing anyway to charge people with crimes if there wasn’t any.More and more laws getting mad up for something like “what could have happen” to make even more money to the government,lawyers,judges,jails,police etc etc etc.When will it end putting people to prisons for something like what could have happen? Drinking and driving is a huge huge market to make billions and multi billions even in most cases never any accident ever had happen to nothing and nobody but super many lawyers and judges,doctors and jails got mad rich by charging somebody for what could have happen.This morning for example I woke up and got up.I could have happen I didn’t get up because I could have bin dead,so I never should go to bad last night but I did so anyway.Could I be charged for that because I didn’t know,or I should have known or for try to get up or because I got up where and when does it actually stop to charge people for something never happen.13 years old isn’t a big deal.Does anybody remember what it meant being 13 years old some time back 50 years ago or so? Kids had to go to work,had to help home doing all kinds of chores,had to go by them self to where ever etc etc etc and there is no difference between then and now.It was rare then and now,accidents do happen,kidnapping happen then and now,fires happen then and now etc but in most cases it never was intentionally just accidents and they can happen with or without following laws and if nothing happen at all why punish somebody for something never happen.He people wake up and stop being so damn stupid at all times and who have nothing other to do but thinking of punish somebody.Its just amazing how many people thinking and watching other people instead of care for them self first,enjoy live and let others enjoy there lives not making other peoples live a miserable one.

    1. ginjill Ashberry says:

      Well said.

  35. Kathleen Matteson says:

    A parent is arrested for leaving her 13 yr old daughter alone, but a 13 yr old can go get an abortion without the parent’s permission. Hmmmmmm. Something is not right here.


    goverment intrusion..the girl is 13 not 5….pleaseeeeeeee………

  37. Brad says:

    overreaction by overpaid and underworked city staff. At 13 I was on my third job. I knew how to cook for myself and shop. My mother was a stay at home parent, but my folks always said they were raising adults, not kids. Work never hurt us academically. Like most of my siblings I have college degree and have never been on welfare. Nanny state is out of control

  38. Sioux says:

    I would like to know the law on this. How old does a child need to be to be left at home alone? does the law not specify? Is it just up to CPS to decide after the fact? I think that charging this mother is ridiculous.

  39. really? says:

    Unbelievable what become of the nanny state. 13 year old not exactly a baby. 13 year olds used to work and run business hundreds of years ago.

    1. fred says:

      And we have advanced somewhat since hundreds of years ago. We are legally required to care for our children until age 18 and keep them in school until age 16 in NYS. What business can your 13 run?

  40. Karloz says:

    if this happened in NYC being a minority they would take the girl away to child services and put the kid in a foster home. funny the upper middle class just gets a misdemeanor?!!!

    1. Ian says:

      Are you kidding me? This wouldn’t even make the news if it happened in the outer boroughs of the city. It happens there more often than not and with much younger kids( in lower income households) so much of it is overlooked. It especially wouldn’t be a big deal, because minorities know that if the mom didn’t go get that paycheck, then ther daughter wouldn’t have that house to be left alone in! This happened in Westchester so its news. Btw, thanks for playing the race card so early… i’m sure everyones going to love that.

  41. hasnot says:

    UGH ..they want your kids now too…

  42. dc says:

    Seems like government intrusion, nosy neighbors causing the harm where there would have been no problem. And I’m thinking also because it is presumed a solo girl is automatically ‘helpless’ ‘vulnerable’ ‘victim’ by both neighbor and public officials. Ironically the characters in “Baby Sitters Club” are also 13 years old. So in those popular novels 13 years olds are deemed responsible to watch and care for babies, facing down all sorts of challenges.

  43. Big Bro says:

    amerika, land of the “free”. Big Brother land is more like it. cops and “justice”
    system and greedy lawyers want to rape your bank account for ANY tiny
    excuse, EVEN when everything turned out alright! When I was 13 I was left alone
    for up to two weeks, I was more than mature enough to handle it, which I
    did. Trump said today: “this country is going to hell”. This “po-leece” action
    is one more proof of that.

    1. Steve says:

      I couldn’t agree more Bro.

  44. JW says:

    I’m betting the mother is in a better position than the media to decide if the precariously aged 13 year old is competent to be alone for that amount of time.

    This is the definition of a non-story

  45. Mark Keith says:

    In 1962 when I was 7, my sister was 10, and my brother was 13, my brother was in charge of rendezvousing with myself and my sister and leading us home in case of nuclear war. I should point out that we lived in Miami and we were in the thick of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    Thank goodness that we don’t expect such responsibility from young people today. In fact, we arrest their parents. According to this story, society even frowns on a 13 year old being responsible enough to feed themself and get themself to school. I should point out that my 10 year old sister was responsible for getting me to school as my brother, in junior high, started school an hour earlier.

    Today we instill in our children the need to rely on our betters…vote for the Republicrat of our choice and they will make certain that we democratically transfer all of our assets, property, cash/taxes, and power to the wealthy, who know that we cannot be trusted to stuff a sandwich in our face and find our way to middle school…or anywhere…whether we are 13, 33, or 103.

  46. Mike says:

    Those of you saying the government is sticking its nose into peoples affairs are the same ones who would be calling for the mothers head if something had happened to the girl….

    1. Steve says:


      1. Common Sense says:

        Not true.

  47. Mark A says:

    I’m sure the Croton on Hudson police were only too happy to pursue this case, as it gave them something to do other than hand out speeding tickets along Route 9.
    I find it interesting that CBS New York chose to air this story while out local News 12 Westchester does not have anything about it on its website. Personally, I agree with LauriLee that this is a personal matter and should not have been reported on the tv news. I don’t know Ms. Chaffee, but it sounds like she was trying to do the best she could in a difficult situation. Again, it just goes to show you how little the police have to do in small town Croton that they would pursue charges against this woman.

  48. LauriLee says:

    There is not a single standard that applies to all families. From what I see here, this mother made a personal decision that clearly resulted in no harm (except for this article). This is a ridiculous, exploitative report on a private matter – disgusting – you should be ashamed. Slow news day, Al?

  49. Lame US Gov't Again says:

    Government over-reaching again. Its scary here how government interferes in your life necessarily. At 13, she’s beyond mature enough to be home alone for a whole week. I hope she counter sue the city for illegal breach of her basic rights to raise her daughter as she she fit.

  50. Steve Case says:

    Not cool, but who knows the real story. The government wants a piece of our family. You know what is right for your family, not the government.

    1. Thomas says:

      How old was John Quincy Adams (a president’s son) was sent to Russia with a deplomat (Francis Dana) Was his parents there? Was it not child trafficking? Was it not child abuse? Now people are loosing their jobs so it is just common sense to know what the mum did.She never went partying..

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