Facebook Pic of Toddler Hanging on Planter Hook Gets Mom Arrested

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on November 06, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A Virginia mom who took a photo of her 1-year-old son hanging by the shirt from a planter hook was arrested after the photo was posted to Facebook.

The photo shows a 14-month-old boy crying while suspended in mid-air with his shirt bunched around his neck. The boy's mother, 18-year-old Alexis Breeden was arrested and charged with felony child abuse after authorities were alerted to the photo's presence on the social network, reports WTVR-TV.

How did the photo end up online, and what kind of criminal sentence is Breeden potentially facing from this unfortunate photo op?

Police Alerted by Concerned Citizens

Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office investigators said they received reports from numerous citizens who saw the picture of the visibly uncomfortable child online. Several people even posted the photo to the Sheriff's Office's own Facebook page.

An investigation revealed that the photo, originally taken in early September, was posted to Facebook by the child's father in retaliation for an argument he had recently gotten into with Breeden. Although the investigation also revealed that the child in the picture was not harmed, a warrant was nevertheless issued for Breeden's arrest. After turning herself in to authorities last week, Breeden was charged with felony child abuse.

Child Abuse

Under Virginia law, a parent whose "willful act or omission in the care of such child was so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life" is guilty of a Class 6 felony. Class 6 felonies are punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

According to WTVR-TV, Breeden is also facing charges of violating a protective order, and she recently pleaded guilty to assault and battery against one of her own parents.

Breeden is due in court for arraignment on the child abuse charge on November 13.

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