A Raytown woman says she is at peace with her decision to turn in her 15-year-old for robbing a Church's Chicken restaurant.
She convinced her son she was taking him somewhere else, activated the child-safety locks in her vehicle and drove him to a Kansas City Police Department substation. The manager of the store that was robbed praised the woman for her heroic actions.
"It took an act of valor, an act of courage on her behalf. I can't imagine the emotions she had to deal with," Edward Turner said. "I think she's a role model. No, she doesn't want her child to face the agony of going to prison or jail. No. But does she want to do the right thing and lead by example? I would say certainly."
The woman said it wasn't something she wanted to do but was something she had to do. KCTV5 is not identifying the woman in part because of the negative reaction she's received on social media.
Three males entered the Church's at 55th Street and Prospect Avenue just after 6 p.m. Sunday to rob it. But a quick-thinking manager fed up with crime turned the tables on the men and was able to disarm one of the suspects from his .38-caliber revolver, prompting the three to flee.
Police then released surveillance video to news media outlets, hoping that would lead to arrests. The mother saw the video on KCTV5 News and thought she recognized her son.
She went to KCTV5.com on her smartphone and was able to watch the video closer. She said her son was staying with a family friend because he was out of control and wouldn't stay home because she was too strict.
The woman headed to her friend's house after having the sickening realization that it was her son in the video. She then used a ruse to get her son to leave the house.
"I had to convince him that I was sending him out of town and that's when I put the child locks on my car so therefore he wouldn't be able to get out of the car," she recalled.
She said her son was hurt by what he saw as a betrayal, but she had no regrets.
"My mama never took up for us when we were wrong. My mama gave us the best tough love that she could give us," she said. "Right now, he's still shocked and he's still hurt."
She said she wanted to speak publicly after receiving adverse comments through social media. It's not yet clear whether the boy will be tried as a juvenile or adult.
Turner said he hopes her example will cause others to turn in criminals that they know. He was critical of those who have ripped the woman for turning in her son.
"I would tell her she did the right thing. There is going to be pain behind doing the right thing sometimes, but I would tell her it's in God's hands. God has it under control. He will make the best for her son. It's not the end of the world for him. She should look at it as a new beginning for him."
He predicted that the teen will thank his mother some day for stopping him from getting into more trouble and possibly hurting someone. He said he hopes the families of the two suspects still on the lam also set an example and turn their loved ones in.
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