Mother Faces Charges Over Son’s Laughing In Library

Updated 09/06/11 4:31 p.m.

Atlanta (WAOK)– A trial date has been set for a 20-year-old single mother who was arrested after her son made laughing noises while in a Decatur library. 

Donnetta Foster was thrown out of the library after she said her 14-month-old son, Savon, made a laughing noise while looking at an animal flash card in October 2010.  Ms. Foster was a full-time student at Georgia Perimeter studying Business Administration when the incident happened. She told police she was at the Decatur branch of the DeKalb County library using the computers to look for employment when her son began laughing. Police were called and she was asked to leave. 

Police arrested Foster across the street from the library while she was waiting for a police sergeant to arrive at the scene. Officials said she was arrested after becoming angry, and using profanity in front of children.

“Ms. Foster was upset because no one would listen,” her attorney, Mawuli Mel Davis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Anyone would be upset.”

According to the report, Foster was issued a criminal trespass warning and “became irate yelling in a loud and boisterous manner,” the report said. After being asked to calm down and leave the library, Foster apparently left, only to return “within minutes … yelling and cursing.”

Ms. Foster faces charges of obstruction for what she says was a request for the police officer to take a report from her regarding how she was inappropriately treated by library staff. Foster could face up to a year in jail if she is found guilty at her trial.  

The trial date has been set for September 13, 2011 before Dekalb County State Court Judge Janis Gordon.

More from Jean Ross
  • Sarah

    Once again a stupid arrest and money being funneled into the judicial system over an incident that could have been avoided by telling the woman to leave, she leaving and not making a big issues out of the incident..When we’re in public spaces, we’re subject to all kinds of stupid rules and cops does not mind exercising their right to arrest you at great inconvience and expense to you fighting these spurious charges…

    • kevin

      “Foster was given a criminal tresspass warning, she then was told to leave which she did, then she returned. Im betting your one of those big mouths that needs to be slapped to get to shut your pie whole up. Can’t ya read.

    • kevin

      First off how stupid can you be. Did you not see in the story where she was asked to leave and then came back a minute later cursing and disturbing the peace. But no she is the victim right she is not responsible. She couldn’t just walk away. Its the mans fault that she came back. Please this is whats wrong with the world no one wanting to take responsiblity for their own actions. She was presented with the opportunity to leave but here it comes she made the !!!choice!!!! to come back

      • PabloKoh

        She was asked to leave a public space that SHE OWNS!!! because of a 14month old laughing. How stupid can she be??? for thinking a 14 month old laughing is not a reason for being forcibly removed by armed men from a PUBLIC BUILDING? Keep licking the boots of authority.

      • ladydi

        AMEN!!! Right on!!!

      • mike

        Mmmm! Boot taste good.

      • RDA

        Hey, Chris, until you become Overlord I suggest you do as the Police tell you.

        Or, we could read about the next day as you’re screaming, “You are not our rulers!” as you are being led away.

        Yeah, go for it…

      • scott

        Police enforce the codes and rules of conduct that were enacted by representatives that you voted ‘for” or “against”. Please, “man-up” and look at the entire story before you show everyone how much you really don’t know. Aw, the hell with it, you entertain me…….do some more of them funny song and dances I bet you know.
        What’s wrong? Was that profiling? Oops, my bad. Forget I said anything. Carry on.

    • ladydi

      You are correct…but in fact the woman did NOT leave.She became abusive and used foul language and even returned for a second round of abusive language. We should be protected in public spaces. Library rules are there for the protection of ever;yone…not just for the few who wish to behave in any way they choose.

      • Chris

        Foul language is not against the law you F*CKING TYRANT

      • Ryan

        Yeah but disturbing the peace is, Chris

      • jay

        oh noooo! save me from the baby laughing!!!!! duh. you get the derrr for the day!

    • Mike

      Just another case of having to deal with a sub-human who believes that she is entitled to anything and everything that crosses her sub-human mind. I’ll bet my next paycheck that she had that finger and neck wagging the whole time. Just another Hood Rat.

    • Mr. Truth

      She would’t have just left. I’m betting she would have screamed something about my civil rights, blah, blah, blah, etc. A fight would have ensued. Thirty people with cell phones would have recorded it. And the president would say, “the librarian acted stupidly.”

      • ChuckM


  • Elisha

    This is so ridiculous. Once again it seems that we can never get “professional courtesy” and just let the person leave…We have to get “arrested”…If that was a single mother in Paulding county, this wouldn’t be an issue. I’m sure she’s not the FIRST person to have a child in a library…nor one that laughs…If the police was called everytime a child made any noise in public, you wouldn’t be able to take a child to the movies, restaurants, or any other place where it could annoy other people…

    • lladydi

      you need to read the entire heen;tire story…you are missing out on quite a few of the facts!!!

    • ladydi

      If she had left as she was asked..there would ave been no problem. Instead she chose to become abusive and demand her “rights”…what rights? The rest if us (the majority) have the right to a quiet space for studying and reading. She violated OUR rights.

      • chris

        Your right to a quite space? Where is that in the constitution again?

        You have no idea what the hell you are talking about. Clean out the gene pool a little, go jump off a cliff.

    • RJ

      I for one would be happy if people would not bring their loud, out of control children to movies restaurants or other places where they can annoy…. Nothing worse than trying to enjoy a night out, spending good money and then having to listen and watch some out of control little hell child.

      • chris

        So you want to throw them in jail? sic semper tyranus mother f*cker

  • Moni

    both ladies have good points : but with Jails stock being traded on wall street
    it makes more sense to arrest anyone for anything.
    One thing that don’t need is another educated single mother looking for a job, when they can put her in jail and everyone gets paid: Many people showed up for Jenna 6 — lets see how many show up for her.

    • ladydi

      Oh come on…She was the one who called 911 and escalated this situation beyond any common sense…maybe she just wanted to start some sort of lawsuit? How clever!

  • S.Jones

    The police are supposedly here to protect and serve the public. They’re serving someone’s interests, and it ain’t the public’s. Speaking of the public, last I checked libraries were public tax payer facilities. And the mother that was asked to leave, well when last she was employed, she was paying taxes which went towards the librarian’s and police officer’s checks. But Moni is right – It’s easier to lock her away and have other tax payers fit the bill for that, and easier to just keep paying investors via our taxes who invest in our continual oppression via the building of more prisons. The irony, is that this started from a child’s innocent laughter. See how the devil works?

    • lad;ydi

      You gotta be kidding…????? Come on now….

    • dale

      They are not here to protect and serve the public, they are here to enforce the law. It would do us well to remember this.

      • Erin O'Riordan

        Dale is absolutely right. The cars do say “Protect and Serve,” but what they don’t mention is that this means “to protect and serve the interests of the government.” Not the people. Many officers will go above and beyond the call of duty to protect you, yet at other times they too are capable of extremely bad judgement.

        Arresting her defies all common sense. She cursed in a library – why not simply escort her outside the library? There, problem solved. Librarians are familiar with curse words – they have hundreds of books full of them, and they’re boisterous about defending free speech in print. Librarians are typically boisterous about encouraging parents to read to young children, too.

        So again, why the arrest? Why not just escort outside and be done with it?

      • Carson

        They are public servants tasked with SERVING and PROTECTING the public. It would do THEM well to remember THIS.

      • Me Myself

        What universe are you from? Many police cars actually have that on them – To Protect and Serve.

    • ladydi

      I really wonder, and so should do you, if a child’s “innocent” laughter is all this story is about…I rather doubt it…she loved the confrontation! Why I don’t know…maybe for the publicity, , hoping for a lawsuit?

      • Catherine Crabill

        Maybe she was simply OUTRAGED at being treated like a criminal over her child’s laughter! Maybe she decided that if America is to be saved from becoming a FASCIST POLICE STATE everyone needs to stand up to this abuse of power and say NO!

      • anita daeoph

        Catherine Crabill,
        Use some sense. If this “lady” was cursing in front of MY children I would have a huge issue with it, and it has nothing to do with fascism or a baby’s laugh. In all honesty if this is how she over reacted towards the respected establishment and its personnel, imagine what smack across the face she’d give that poor baby for crossing her; she really has no business raising children.

    • Bob

      You have to be a twin…One person cannot be this stupid…She was not arrested for her child laughing…that got her thrown out of the library…she was arrested for acting in a disorderly manner when she was asked to leave the library and continued to act disorderly once outside. The Police had enough with the F-bomb laden show this woman was preforming in front of her Son and other kids. She got what she deserved, arrested…What has happened to the civility and common sense of this Country…?

      • Ladydi

        Yay Bob! Catherine is a perfect example of all that is wrong with this country. No manners… No grace … No smarts….no manners… Just call everyone a fascist and promote anarchy.Wonder what will become of Catherine… she will never end up a happy contented successful person….too much self centered anger…. So sad…

      • but you can't beat the ride.

        According to you, that’s a crime. I’d rather if the efforts were focused on more important things. With an unlimited budget we could arrest every J-walker, makes as much sense as locking up a social misfit being rather uncivil in her civil disobedience.

        Some people are a good example of a bad example. Arresting them because some egomaniac cop with an inferiority complex wants to whip out his gun feeds their power trip and endangers us all.

  • Mother Faces Charges Over 14-Month-Old's Laughing In Library... | Breaking News

    […] (First column, 10th story, link) […]

  • snapperman

    If there isn’t more to this story the librarian should be fired.

    • Hoho

      …and then the library should get rid of all the funny flash cards.

  • Walljasper

    Think we’re missing a few parts of the story?


    Its a library, not a sing-song chatty moomy baby center.

    I suspect that little entitled missy got her self-righteous mommy panties in a big indignant bunch when someone told her to take the gagling outside, decided to “keep it real” and finally got arrested for her stupidity.

    • AGJR

      Can you say “AMEN BROTHER”

  • sime

    …story is missing something.

    • RLABruce

      Yes. Her race.

      • ladydi

        not allowed in this country….we are politically correct you know!

      • Gerry

        20 year old unemployed, unwed mother who feels like screaming profanity in public is a reasonable soluttion to a problem. I’ll give you one guess.

      • larryg1

        I wonder if it was anything like this:

  • Korla Pundit

    Sounds like we’re only getting this woman’s side of the story. Bet there’s a lot more to it. She probably is looking for a windfall legal settlement from the library.

  • Dan Kleinman

    NO LAUGHING! But porn viewing is a perfectly acceptable form of freedom of speech, like in Birmingham, AL. What? No freedom of laughing?

  • JoeDetroit

    Read the story closer folks. This is a reporter trying to twist the news. The woman was NOT arrest because her child laughed in the library, the title totally misrepresents the story. The woman was arrested across the street for charges of obstruction.

    From the story: “for what she says was a request for the police officer to take a report from her regarding how she was inappropriately treated by library staff”

    Most likely she was mad (as she should have been), but my bet is she was complaining, yelling, and screaming at the police until she finally got arrested. I wouldn’t even doubt it if she was politely asked to quiet her child down and she raised hell which got her booted from the library.

    • ShoMe

      I want to know where the video is.
      From article attached: The attorney also questioned why six or seven police cars had to respond. “It just seems [like] a little overkill,” Davis said.

      Somewhere there should be film footage, so who is hiding it?

      • ladydi

        she called 911…so many police cars responded…she wasted valuable resources and should be penalized for that…

      • Danny

        How many donuts were missed?

  • Kerry Stephenson Jacoby

    Is there really a law in Georgia against laughing in the library?

    • lad;ydi

      I have always understood that being in a library required courtesy and quiet…not you? Was your library a place of riotous behavior?And or crying or laughing (???) cchildren???

    • RLABruce

      No, but it’s a rule that she broke, so she had to leave. You know about rules, don’t you? And she wasn’t charged for noise in the library. She was charged for her behavior with the cops, AFTER the library incident.

  • Roger


  • Lee

    I can certainly understand a desire for quiet in a library (which of us haven’t heard a screaming brat kid just WAILING on and on and on, while the parent(s) do nothing about it)?

    But a baby LAUGHING…and only ONE TIME, at that?

    Come on, you silly sour-puss adults.

    Lighten up, a bit.

    Better yet, GET a life, at all.

    No wonder so many people (even other adults, such as myself) flatly dislike you, so much.

    • Hitokiri Battousai

      First of all, you, need, to , learn how, to use, punctuation. Second, where you there? It wasn’t the kids laughing it was the mothers attitude and cussing at the library employees. Just another individual trying to get some of that “free money” with a lawsuit.

      • J. Banger

        Oh the irony. Instead of concerning yourself with Lee’s comment you should have focused on your own. Ok, it’s “were you there?”, not “where”. You’re missing apostrophes for “kid’s laughing” and “mother’s additude”. Check yourself before you wreck yourself fool.

    • lee

      Hey Lee –
      Only one time? Were you there? And who is the sour-puss? What is with the “No wonder so many people (even other adults, such as myself) flatly dislike you, so much.”

      My advice to you – GET a life.

      • Gordon Campbell

        Quit wagging your chubby little fecal stained finger and go back to watching German scat porn in your fetid little room.

  • Bill

    For sure this woman had been told that she need to quiet her child down. Now this article makes her look like a victim.
    looking forward to hearing the rest of the story. Fact is that we have all experienced the total idiocy of people who drag their kids around with them. They think nothing of letting their kids make noise while they talk on the phone while others are trying to get something accomplished at the library or post office or City Hall etc.
    For pete’s sake, if you take your kids with you keep them somewhat quiet.

  • The Voice of Reason

    1. Welfare mother brings her noisy kid to the library to use the free Internet.
    2. Welfare mother ignores child who becomes disruptive.
    3. Library staff ask Welfare mother to keep child quiet.
    4. Welfare mother starts screaming and yelling about being disrespected.
    5. Welfare mother told to leave or police will be called.
    6. Welfare mother screaming and knocking things over.
    7. Police called.
    8. Welfare mother makes huge scene but leaves.
    9. Welfare mother calls 911 demanding a police supervisor to complain about racism.
    10. Police discuss problem of “crazy, screaming, psycho Welfare mother” with museum staff and she is pointed out as being across the street.
    11. Police discuss problem with Welfare mother but she continues inappropriate behavior.
    12. Police arrest Welfare mother for obstruction when it is determined that she has lied repeatedly and is the problem.
    13. Reporter who is from the same social demographic as the Welfare mother tries to misrepresent the case as police brutality and or racism.

    Welcome to the Obama-nation!

    • Hitokiri Battousai

      You got it!

    • Erin O'Riordan

      She had every right to use the free Internet. That’s what it’s there for.

      It’s no one’s business whether the woman is married or not, working or not. She’s a student. How about some respect for trying to get an education and better herself?

      If you were disrespected, you too would have the right to protest said disrespect. If you were ignored, you too would feel upset.

      You, too, have the right to talk to a police supervisor if the police were called on you.

      President Obama doesn’t have a thing to do with this. How about a little less judgement and a teensy bit more compassion? How about walking a mile in this woman’s shoes before you judge her?

      • lad;ydi

        wait a minute…SHE called the pice after being asked to leave…she is at fault here…

    • mAx

      Excellent. No question in my mind that this is exactly how it happened.
      TNB! As usual…

    • comprehensive

      You ain’t seen nuttin’ yet. When they find out the kid was laughing at a picture of Obama, AG Holder will ……… and …………, but he will not be deported.

    • lad;ydi


    • larryg1
    • Nate P

      Thank the lord there are informed reasonable folks like you to tell it like it is. I especially liked the way you completely fabricated the whole “welfare” mother thing. It was a really nice touch, and really got your point across well. I assume you were trying to convince people you’ve had a lobotomy? No? You were serious? Oh…well….uh….well I guess I don’t know what to say. I just assumed you were what our local schools call “exceptional”. I guess you’re a different kind of exceptional, as in, the average person uses their brain, with the exception being people like you. Stupid waste of sperm and eggs.

      • ladydi

        Oh for God’s sake…grow up….

      • Miguel

        Nate, sounds like you reflexively must attack a reasonable take on what happened, since most agree that we are not getting the whole story from our lying MSM. The PC MSM is steeped in their attacks upon the regular American citizens, always claiming racism or stupidity or being ‘redneck’ type if thing all of our weak-kneed liberal professors, our racist big city pols and academia in general try to pin upon America.

        The mom, whether she be welfare queen or not was likely the cause of the library disturbance. Too many people try to avoid the blame that rightfully falls upon them, and since we know the MSM operatives ‘reporting’ this story have a history of lying to us, the mom is likely guilty.

      • RLABruce

        Five bucks says she’s black, another five says she’s on welfare.

    • deRuiter

      Wonderfully put! Another “entitled” single mother who is most likely on the taxpayer dole, acts out badly in public. Then she is surprised when she is issued a summons for disturbing the peace. Frankly, any single mother (of an illegitimate child) who names her child after a defuct drugstore chain, is suspect. I’m tired of so called “single mothers” and their out of control offspring, who are the next generation of welfare brood mares and the criminal undrclass. Keep filling those prisons and the welfare rolls with your progeny girls, Obama will pay you forever.

    • Jay

      Thank you. I would bet a paycheck that this almost exactly sums up what happened. TNB.

  • Robert

    So the woman cursed at them and even came back to deliver a 2nd dose… Well, people who do that kind of thing in a public setting tend to get locked up. The fact that she has a kid who was making a disturbance doesn’t seem to have much to do with the police at all. I’m sure the other library patrons would have been glad to have her out; too bad she couldn’t go without making things much much worse.

  • Dennis D

    We all know what really happened here. An Angry Black Female got nasty and in your face instead of peacefully leaving and an Angry Black Female author wrote this article to protect her.

    • blert

      Public inappropriate emotional displays by whites = The Exception
      Public inappropriate emotional displays by blacks = The Rule.

      Act like a monkey in public with no respect for civil decorum, get thrown into the city jail. Act like a human being and live free. It’s not hard.

    • neither here nor there

      Author thought she was being sooooo witty misrepresenting the story the way she did.

    • Eric Olsen


  • Allie

    A whole lotta knee jerking going on here. This woman wasn’t arrested because her child was laughing. It seems pretty clear from a story skewed to be self-serving to the woman that she was asked to leave the library because her child was being disruptive. The library has every right to do so and in fact has an obligation to the other patrons to ask disruptive patrons to modify their behavior or leave. Then if you read between the lines it looks like she threw a hissy fit and THE MOTHER called the police to file a customer service complaint against the library, which is an abuse of police service so they arrested her .

  • Ron

    The title is very deceiving. She wasn’t arrested for her baby laughing. She was only arrested after she started screaming obscenities at the top of her lungs in front of children and others after being asked to leave. Pitty the poor child.who will grow up to be a disrespectful fool

  • DigitalBob

    Ahhhh, I see. I’m guessing it REALLY wasn’t just one giggle before library staff was dialing 9-11. This woman was disruptive. And when she wouldn’t keep her baby quiet, she was booted. But she really wasn’t in trouble until she started mouthing off to the cops.

  • stan47

    Criminey, mere laughing in the library would be a breath of fresh air. In some branches of Baltimore’s venerable Enoch Pratt system, people have been observed fornicating in the stacks.

    • ladydi

      maybe that is quieter and disturbs fewer people?????

  • Mole

    Looks to me that, despite the headline, she was actually arrested for yelling and cussing. Not because her kid was laughing. If she had some manners, she probably wouldn’t be in jail.

    • ladydi


    • Hitokiri Battousai

      Yes, but the MSM wants you to take the mothers side. Keep your brats and yourself under control.

  • kilothe

    The woman was asked to quiet down or leave the library, upon which she became irate. As the story notes she left only to return and continue to berate and curse the staff in front of kids and other library patrons. That’s why she was arrested.

    This is the nature of stupid, ill mannered young people of today believing they are entitled and that rules shouldn’t apply to them.

    • ladydi

      ENTITLED is the key word here…this is what we have bred with the welfare state……no idea of common decency or gratitude…yuk! Anyone under 50 thinks this is THEIR world, THEIRlibrary, THSEIR sidewalk, THEIR air…etc etc etc…I am fed up…

  • Bob Naught

    Don’t black women have the same right as other people to complain if treated unfairly? I would be screaming obscenities too if I felt the situation warranted it. Teach the kid to stand up for themself. Do some of you commenters actually think this woman wanted to bring her baby with her? Obviously if she had access to a babysitter she would have used one. And she can’t “quiet down” a 14 month old. For those not familiar with babies, sometimes they make noise.

    • lad;ydi

      Then she should have left, if she were unable to quiet the chid. I am a Mother of 4, and I sometimes took some of them to places like libraries, movies restaurants etc. But if they were noisy and obviously y disturbing others, I left. And so should she. She just wanted to male a scene, because she is ENTITLED!!!

    • Hitokiri Battousai

      Maybe you should try thinking of others besides yourself like this woman did. Keep your brats quiet or keep them at home. The rest of us don’t want to hear a brat being disruptive, much less the mother flipping out for being asked to watch her own kid. Babies doe make noise, that’s why people don’t take them to places where you’re supposed to be quiet like a library or the movies. But some people are so rude and disrespectful of others that they just don’t care.

    • jwood

      Maybe she could consider leaving the child at home with her husband (the child’s father) the next time she drops by the library. Like that’s a possibility.

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