Mother escorted from splash park by police after changing diaper

A Roswell mom told Channel 2 Action News she was “humiliated” after being escorted from a city park by police Wednesday.

“I don’t want any other mom to go through what I went through,” Andreea Sitaru said.

Sitaru said park officials and a police officer intercepted her while she was feeding her infant and escorted her out of Splash ‘n Play Sprayground at Riverside Park.

Sitaru said in a Facebook post that she visited the park with her daughter and 3-month-old son in hopes of reserving the park’s pavilion for her daughter’s birthday.

After spending three hours playing at the splash park, Sitaru prepared to leave and changed her daughter from a diaper designed for water play to a regular diaper.

“In the middle of the change one of the staff members, James Andrew, approached me asking to leave as diaper changing is not allowed for sanitary reasons,” Sitaru said.

In a staff account, park employee James Andrew wrote:

“I went up to her and respectfully asked her to do that in the restroom.”

A sign posted at the city park, says “No diaper changing allowed on deck.”

“I did not see that,” Sitaru said.

In the account, Andrew added that there is a sign that lists park rules and that he told Sitaru that she would have to comply with them. Andrew said Sitaru got upset and called his manager.

Sitaru said she finished changing the daughter and began to feed her youngest child a bottle.

The city said an employee mistakenly told Sitaru bottle feeding was not allowed, according to Channel 2.

“A teenage looking kid … showed up, telling me I’m [breaking park rules] by feeding my infant formula,” Sitaru told the news station.

According to staff, a police officer coincidentally arrived on a break arrived. The city says the employees asked him to step in.

“The police officer tried to get her side of the story against ours and he stated that she still needed to leave,” Andrew’s account said.

In a conflicting account posted on Facebook, Sitaru said that four police officers showed up and one escorted her from the park.

“It was embarrassing,” Sitaru posted. “It was very humiliating.”

A local group of mothers are attempting to organize a sit-in protest in response to the incident. In a series of Facebook messages to the Sisterhood of Motherhood group, Rahela Anghel rallied mothers to join her in a breastfeeding session at the park Saturday to “educate the Roswell staff about the rights of mothers and infants.”

“[Sitaru] was not permitted to finish feeding her 3-month-old and the police was called to escort her while she was doing that,” Anghel said in a message to the group.