PIEDMONT — A police officer who issued a $2,500 ticket to a woman Sunday after her 3-year-old son tried to urinate in the family’s front yard should have handled the situation differently, Piedmont Police Chief Alex Oblein said Tuesday.
Ashley Warden got the ticket for public urination after her son, Dillan, who is being potty trained, dropped his pants in the front yard of the family home at 4505 Ryan Drive.
Warden and several other members of her family were outside when Dillan got the urge to go.
Officer Ken Qualls was sitting in his police cruiser nearby when he saw Dillan drop his pants, said Jennifer Warden, the boy’s grandmother.
“The policeman pulled up and asked for ID,” Jennifer Warden said. “We didn’t know why and he said it was for public urination. We were like, ‘He’s 3 years old.’ And he said it didn’t matter.”
Ashley Warden said she was so enraged she tore up the ticket before taping it back together. She filed a complaint with Piedmont police.
Oblein said the incident could have been handled better. The officer was in the area because several neighbors have complained of young people vandalizing property and being out of control. He saw a teenager in the Warden family lead the boy to a spot in the yard to urinate and decided to take action.