This Takes The (Coffee) Cake

The Starbucks near the diner is notorious for its entitled drivers. Just when you think they could not find another it’s-all-about-me way to park, they stun us with something new.

Now it’s contagious.

Alert “06880” reader Bart Shuldman spotted this sight earlier today, at the downtown Starbucks:

Starbucks downtown parking

Parker Harding Plaza is a very busy place. But this driver could not wait, like a normal human being, to find a parking spot. (Perhaps it was the lure of those special red Christmas cups.)

He or she stopped the car, put on flashers, and went inside to join the long line.

Leaving 2 children sitting in the back.

28 responses to “This Takes The (Coffee) Cake

  1. Hope someone called the Dept of Child Welfare (or whatever it’s called) and reported this, or the police dept..

  2. I would have taken a clear photo of this ” entitled ” driver’s license plate!

  3. Where do these RUDE people come from ?
    Why do they think they are entitled to disgrace themselves & disregard the
    the signs we politely respect !!!Grrrr!

  4. Mary Schmerker, Staples 1958

    I’m with Sandy!

  5. And were the police called immediately to report two children left in a car parked illegally?

  6. Photos should include clear licence plates if only to enbarrass the culprit let alone police awareness

  7. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    People can be amusing.
    Maybe he/she dashed into the store to retrieve a toy, a wallet or phone(!), even a pay check?
    At least, it’s not the middle of a heat wave.

    p.s. If he/she actually joined the “long line”, a good Samaritan would speak up.

  8. I recall following a Mother into a store as she left a toddler and infant in her parked car. Very loudly I told the first sales person at the front door that the mother wouldn’t want to be arrested over something that stupid. She quickly turned around and went back to the car.

    Sometimes you just have to say something.

  9. The fact that there were two kids in the car is none of anybody’s business. Parents can make their own parenting decisions, and it’s not for others to interfere with. Getting authorities like Child Protective Services (or what ever it is in CT) involved can be very bad for families when they overreach, putting the family at far greater risk from your nosiness than from leaving the kids in the car. You are free to judge, and free to call the cops for the illegal parking job, but leave the parenting to the parents.

    • Alex, I believe that in this state it is illegal to leave children unattended in motor vehicles. Besides, it’s really a stupid thing to do. And sometimes the parents need parenting.

    • Alex – I disagree. How do you know that the drive of the car was a parent of the children?

      Years back, I was exiting the Chase Bank at Barnes & Noble Plaza when a woman parked her car right in front of the bank entrance. It had just started to rain and the sky was growing dark. The woman left the car running with the wipers and lights on, and dashed into the bank. As I walked past the car, I noticed two young children in the back, strapped in car seats. I went to my car, which was parked legally, but I didn’t leave right away. Something told me to stay, as I felt uneasy. The rain turned into a full-fledged storm as I waited for the woman to exit the bank. A few minutes passed, and yet she did not come out. I drove over and stopped behind her car momentarily, so I could jot down the license plate number. No sign of the driver…

      I went back to my parking spot and waited for a few more minutes. Finally, the woman dashed out of the bank, hopped in the car and drove off. She had to wait for a chance to pull on to Post Rd, so I pulled up behind her at the stop sign. She turned right onto Post Rd and took off very quickly. I was able to get on to Post Rd behind her, but she was driving very fast. I could see her tail lights ahead of me – in the pouring rain and darkened sky – as she weaved in and out of traffic. She was driving way too fast given the poor visibility. I was able to see her ahead of me until the Bulkely Road intersection but lost sight of the car from there. I went home and called the police. They asked me to write a detailed description of what I had witnessed and fax it to them. They asked if I would be willing to disclose my name and address, to which I agreed. The police closed the conversation by telling me that they would investigate the matter, etc..

      About a week later, I received a letter from a Southport address. It was from the mother of the children in the car. The mother explained that her nanny had been driving the children that day. The nanny told the mother that I had been mistaken but since the letter I provided to the police was so detailed, the mother fired the nanny on the spot. She thanked me, and said that she never would have known that her nanny had left the children in the car and had driven so dangerously on a stormy night, had I not spoken up. She was very grateful for my actions.

      • To be clear, I agree that the majority of the time it’s a terrible idea to leave kids in the car. Like the example which once appeared on 06880 where the mom left her kids in the car outside CVS – you can’t see the car, and it won’t just be 5 minutes. And this example, it’s no parking because that’s a dangerous place to be. What irks me is that on those rare occasions where it would be perfectly safe you still can’t make that decision for yourself because of the threat of noisy neighbors getting the authorities involved.

        Your story is impressive and makes a good counter point since the parents weren’t the ones deciding on the risk themselves. However, you didn’t show that there was any actual risk to the children, other than the nanny’s poor choices in risk taking. And if the nanny was actually a mom with her own kids and some other back story your calling the police over a small lapse in judgement could have caused major problems for a family you know nothing about. Very good of you to watch the car for her, after that it’s just chance that you turned out to be the hero (then again, maybe in Westport with so many nannies this is a common problem! ;).

        The other part that irks me is that I don’t see posts or comments about Westporters consuming 2 bottles of wine at a table for 4 (or Sake Bombs at Kawa Ni… yum), then going back to their cars to drive home. Or the guys on the train with two or three beers who get off the train and drive themselves home. That represents actual risk to the rest of us, unlike this situation which represents no risk to anyone outside the family.

        • Leaving the children in the car while the nanny was inside the bank was a risk to the children, but driving at an excessive speed and cutting in and out of traffic during a downpour was a risk to many.

          If the mother had been the driver, perhaps she would have been issued a speeding ticket as well as a ticket for leaving the children unattended in the car. I am not sure how the process works, but I was willing to give a sworn statement as to what I had witnessed. I am surprised that you feel that the nanny’s actions were of “no risk to anyone outside of the family.” Reckless driving is a danger to anyone in the driver’s vicinity.

          As for “Westporters consuming two bottles of wine at a table for four,” I don’t keep track of another party’s alcohol consumption when I am at a restaurant. I would hope that the waitstaff is doing this. Aren’t they required to, to some degree?

  10. Ann Marie Flynn

    Some years ago, a mother left her 3 yr. old in the car, with the motor running. ,!!! Only for a minute ??? And when she came out the three year old had ran her car into her aunt’s car……. Whee!

  11. Lauren Saums Grosner

    Alex-It is somebody’s business. It is the Police Department’s business. Years ago I called the WPD about two young children left in a car in the Trader Joe’s parking lot. The parent, or whoever was responsible for the safety and well being of the children, left before the police arrived. I chose to stay in the lot and waited for the police. Three cruisers appeared ASAP. The officers were very concerned and not too happy. I gave them the license plate number and any other pertinent information. The officers assured me that they would pursue the matter. They were very grateful that I did not “MIND MY OWN BUSINESS”.

    Been there…done that…and I would do it again.

    Connecticut State Law
    Sec. 53‐21a. Leaving child unsupervised in place of public accommodation or motor vehicle.
    (a) Any parent, guardian or person having custody or control, or providing supervision, of any child
    under the age of twelve years who knowingly leaves such child unsupervised in a place of public
    accommodation or a motor vehicle for a period of time that presents a substantial risk to the child’s
    health or safety, shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
    (b) Any parent, guardian or person having custody or control, or providing supervision, of any child
    under the age of twelve years who knowingly leaves such child unsupervised in a place of public
    accommodation, which holds a permit issued under chapter 545 for the sale of alcoholic liquor for
    consumption on the premises, for a period of time that presents a substantial risk to the child’s
    health or safety, shall be guilty of a class D felony.
    (c) Any parent, guardian or person having custody or control, or providing supervision, of any child
    under the age of twelve years who knowingly leaves such child unsupervised in a place of public
    accommodation or a motor vehicle between the hours of eight o’clock p.m. and six o’clock a.m. for a
    period of time that presents a substantial risk to the child’s health or safety, shall be guilty of a class C
    (P.A. 97‐298.)

    • Yes, Trader Joe’s parking lot is a terrible place to leave a kid in the car! Thanks for posting the actual code, that’s interesting. It leaves an odd hole in it, “for a period of time that presents a substantial risk to the child’s
      health or safety,” there are some places where no amount of time is appropriate, like if you can’t clearly see the child.

  12. So are people saying it is ALWAYS a “substantial risk” to leave a child under 12 in a car for even a brief period of time?

    Some serious overthinking here. It is completely rude and obnoxious to park like in the picture – clearly someone who was more interested in getting their coffee quickly than acting like they had a brain.

    But I don’t think it is necessary to hyperventilate about child endangerment when there is little evidence that was the case. It is the middle of November – not 100 degrees.

    • Nancy Hunter Wilson

      It’s called Reckless Endangerment. A legal term. Period.
      Go ahead, then. Take your chances.

      • Per the Connecticut law quoted above: “for a period of time that presents a substantial risk to the child’s health or safety”

        Again, I am not defending the parking, but leaving a car for five minutes to pick up a coffee is not likely meeting the legal standard of reckless endangerment. Unless you can tell me the substantial risk.

        The broader legal definition:
        “Reckless endangerment is a crime consisting of acts that create a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. The accused person isn’t required to intend the resulting or potential harm, but must have acted in a way that showed a disregard for the foreseeable consequences of the actions. The charge may occur in various contexts, such as, among others, domestic cases, car accidents, construction site accidents, testing sites, domestic/child abuse situations, and hospital abuse. State laws and penalties vary, so local laws should be consulted.”

        • Nancy Hunter Wilson

          I repeat: Take your chance.

          • Do you really think that every case of leaving a kid in the car is reckless endangerment? Isn’t that a little bit…over protective?

            Do YOU think that, for instance, leaving an eleven year old in a car for five minutes while picking up a cup of coffee is reckless endangerment? Because it seems to be what you are suggesting – and it seems completely ridiculous to me.

            • Nancy Hunter Wilson

              Just don’t park your car (or stroller) on a hill!
              P.S. … And hope that eleven year old isn’t the least bit mischievous! Ha!