A mother who was breastfeeding her newborn daughter in a Lynchburg Wal-Mart was arrested on Wednesday evening after a store employee called the police for what they said was ‘lewd behavior.’ Mary Lambert, whose daughter, Kathy, is 5 months old, was shopping in her local Wal-Mart store when her baby began ‘fussing,’ and needed to be fed.
“I knew as soon as she started squirming that it was dinnertime,” said Lambert. “I was in a relatively secluded part of the back of the store, near the Lawn & Garden section, and I began to feed Kathy. She only needed a minute or two, then she was done, and I went along my way. I didn’t even know anyone had seen me.”
According to police reports, no one had seen her, at least not from within the aisles. A security guard, Aaron Silver, was monitoring the activities throughout the store from within the location’s security room, saw Lambert feeding and immediately called the police.
“She was basically getting naked in public. I could almost seen her nipple for a second. It’s disgusting,” said Silver. “I called the police because I wanted to have her removed from the store for her behavior.”
By the time police arrived at the store, Lambert had already finished her purchases and left. Tracing credit card receipts, they were able to determine her name, and from there they tracked Lambert to her home in downtown Lynchburg.
“I couldn’t believe when they showed up at my door,” said Lambert. “They handcuffed me and they took my baby into custody for the night, because her Dad was working a swing shift and wasn’t home. All the neighbors saw me getting put into the police car. It was the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to me in my life.”
Lambert now has a misdemeanor charge on her record for public indecency, the first time in the state’s history that they’ve prosecuted a mother for breastfeeding her baby.
“Normally, we let things like this slide,” said state District Attorney Felisia Lewis. “We have laws that protect mothers from prosecution for situations exactly like this. We all have nipples, and it shouldn’t be a big deal. But in some cases, one rotten apple can spoil the bunch, as it were, and this security guard was offended enough that he personally pressed charges against Mrs. Lambert.”
“I have every right to be completely offended. As a God-fearing person, I don’t think it’s right that anyone, man or woman, expose themselves in public for any reason. It’s just disgusting,” said Silver.