A mom who goes by Darla Jeny on Facebook is furious that a stranger called the cops on her last week when she and her family stopped by a PetSmart in Riverside, California. While her husband went into the store, the 32-year-old mom waited in the car with her 2-year-old daughter, Elsie.
A woman started knocking on Darla's car window.
"I didn't roll down my window because I didn't feel like engaging her, due to my previous experiences," she told PINAC News, which describes itself as a police accountability news site.
But because the woman still wouldn't leave her alone, Darla finally rolled down the window and the stranger told her that her baby was in the sun.
"She threatens to call the cops if I don't move my car," Darla wrote on Facebook. "I know my husband will be out any minute since we're only there for a few minutes. I then told her to mind her own business."
Then, Darla asked why the woman was calling the police and started recording. The video was posted on Facebook on Sept. 22.
The video starts with the unidentified woman (but dubbed Parking Lot Barbara by the internet) dialing on her phone.
"Because you told me it was ‘None of your business' that your child is in pain," she said, pressing a phone to her ear.
"She’s not in pain—she’s sleeping in her car seat," the mom responded. "What are you doing? Tell everyone what you’re doing."
Speaking into the phone, the woman said, “I have this child here in this car at the PetSmart parking lot and the car door is locked and the sun is kind of beating right at the baby’s face in the back seat. She’s still in a little car seat.I don’t know how old she is."
"I'm in the car with her!" Darla said.
"No, you’re not, you’re out here yelling at me," the woman responded.
When Darla's husband returned to the car, the mom told him that the woman was calling the cops because "she says Elsie is in pain" from sleeping in the sun. In her Facebook post, Darla notes that her air conditioning was "blasting" when the woman approached her car.
"Now she’s outside yelling at me. She wasn't in the car," the woman continued on the phone. After spotting the husband, she places the call on hold.
"Oh, because he’s white?" the mother says. "Because he’s white, it’s OK because he’s here now?"
“No, because he’s acting sane—you’re screaming at me," the woman responded, adding that she didn't know the dad was white because of his baseball hat and beard. "It is my business when I mistakenly think the child is in distress."
The husband asked the woman to admit her mistake.
"Yes, I can see that she’s OK now," she replied. She recounted that she tried to tell the mom the sun was beating on the baby's face but that the mom "started getting really nasty."
While still arguing, the woman ended with a harsh criticism of the mom, "You deserve that child to be injured. And you probably do injure it. Look at you."
People are calling the woman racist, saying the conversation would have gone differently if the mom were white, and criticizing her "unacceptable behavior." But some defended the woman, arguing that she had good intentions and was only concerned for the child.
"It was never about the safety of my child. It was about the fact that I didn't comply with her demands to move my car," the mom wrote in an update.