Cops Bust Three-Year-Old For Peeing In The Park, Prove Potty Training Can Be A Crime


This story hits close to home since I have an almost three-year-old who is right on the cusp of learning the joys of peeing in public. In most circumstances, this is an activity that I fully support among young toddlers learning to potty train. As Jerry Seinfeld said, I certainly don’t want my kids to risk uromysitisis poisoning.

This dramatic story of an NYC cop-on-toddler bust started at an innocent picnic in the park. Father Gabriel Roth alerted the world that metaphorical shots were fired via Twitter:


Roth went on to describe his daughter’s end-of-year preschool picnic at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, complete with a predictably questionable public restroom:

I swiftly reviewed the options. There’s a restroom at the top of the park, maybe a five-minute walk if I carry her. Can she hold it in for five minutes? Maybe. Will the restroom be disgusting? I think this one is OK, but I’m not 100 percent sure. Do I want to miss 10 minutes of this precious golden hour with her friends in the park in front of the skyline? Not really. 

The field is bordered by shrubbery on all sides, but there’s a little gap in the shrubbery where the field connects to a path, and this little gap is grassy and somewhat secluded. So I picked her up and carried her there, saying, ”We’re going to do a pee right over here!” I set her down and pulled down her shorts and underpants, and she squatted down, and I held her under her armpits and helped her lean back far enough that she wouldn’t pee all over her underpants, and then she started peeing. While she was peeing I became aware of a car rolling slowly by on the path, about three feet from us, emblazoned with the livery of the New York City Park Enforcement Patrol.

The cop told the well-meaning father that what his daughter was doing was illegal. Roth describes his interaction with the cop as, ”Some of the people who choose to go into police work are power-tripping assholes, and that in my experience this is especially true of pseudo-cops like NYC Park Enforcement Patrol officers.”

I do have a great respect for law enforcement, but in this case, I agree. I know that peeing in public is illegal and definitely disgusting in most cases; however, I’m not ashamed to say that I have and will do it again in a pinch (i.e., trapped in the middle of nowhere on a road trip or stuck in an empty parking lot with a full bladder after bar close. Uromysitisis poisoning be damned!) Since this is my personal, albeit illegal, life philosophy, it would stand to reason that I’m probably going to teach my kids the same thing.

I think this cop was definitely overreacting since he was trying to enforce the law on a three-year-old little girl with a tiny bladder. Maybe he was bored; maybe he was having a bad day. I will certainly teach my kids the when and where of public decorum as they get older (don’t pee in a potted plant before a job interview), but I won’t think twice about letting them relieve themselves in a discreet location when few options are available””especially as toddlers. Lock me up.

(Image: Sergiy Bykhunenko/Shutterstock)

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