CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Police escorted a Navy wife from a Brad Paisley concert at Sleep Train Amphitheatre Thursday night because they said she was endangering her baby by being in the “pit” area.
Megan Christopherson recorded the interaction between her and at least three Chula Vista police officers and posted the video to YouTube.
The video shows officers asking her to leave the pit area of the concert with them. When she asks why, one of the officers tells her that she is putting her baby in danger because of the loud music and the possibility that the baby could be crushed if the crowd surges forward toward the stage. The officer explains that they consulted the District Attorney’s Office before approaching her and were told that bringing a baby to the pit area of a concert constituted borderline felony child endangerment.
Christopherson suggested that the real reason they were asking her to leave was because she had been breastfeeding the baby early, but the officer denied that, saying that their only concern was for her baby’s safety.
The officers told Christopherson that she could be seated in a safer area to watch the concert or leave the concert and get a refund. Christopherson opted for the refund.
As the woman was lead out of the venue, both she and her older daughter, who appeared to be about 10 years old, burst into tears.
Christopherson said that her husband is in the Navy. She repeatedly asked the officers for proof that noise levels in the pit area posed a danger to her baby. At one point during the interaction, an officer threatened to refer the case to San Diego County Child Protective Services. He also said that if she had refused to leave the pit with the baby, she would have been placed under arrest.
The Chula Vista Police Department released a statement Friday about the incident which was consistent with the events shown in YouTube video.
“The Chula Vista Police Department’s involvement in the incident was due to the welfare and safety of the infant and not due to a mother’s legal right to breastfeed in public,” the statement concluded.