PD: Mother Kicked Out of Concert Pit for Having Baby in Pit Area
Officers feared the mother was putting her infant in danger, while the mother believes the ousting may have had more to do with her breastfeeding in public
A mother with an infant strapped to her chest was kicked out of a country music concert in San Diego after officers told her she was in the pit area much too close to speakers amid a large crowd, endangering her baby.
The mother herself caught the confrontation on video at the Brad Paisley concert at Sleep Train Amphitheatre on Thursday. She identified herself asMegan Christopherson, 30, in the 10-minute clip posted to YouTube. The video has since been removed.
Both the mother and Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) officers have differing accounts of why she was booted from the venue.
According to the CVPD, concert security reported Christopherson was in the pit area near the stage several feet away from the speakers. As seen in the mother’s video clip, a security officer approached the woman and asked her to move from the pit area due to possible danger to the baby.
Officers said the child could have been crushed from a potential crowd surge or could’ve been impacted by the loud noise coming from the nearby speakers.
“Your child doesn’t have hearing protection on. The crowd is going to start surging forward. Where you’re at, your child could get crushed,” a security officer told the mother on the video. “We’re afraid of your child’s eardrums being hurt.”
Christopherson argued that her 4-month-old baby Gracie, who was fast asleep, was fine. She said she had recently taken the infant to another concert at the venue and experienced no problems with security.
The security officer continued to inform the mother of the dangers posed to her child if she remained in the pit.
Christopherson was then given two options: to be relocated to a seated area in the amphitheater free of charge, or to leave and receive a full refund on her concert ticket.
Ultimately, the mother chose the refund and left the venue.
However, Christopherson argued she had been targeted by security for breastfeeding her baby in public at the concert, not necessarily for being in the pit, and wondered if that was the reason she was ousted.
In the video, the mother told the security officer that other security personnel had allegedly told her to stop breastfeeding her child due to complaints from fellow concertgoers.
“A security guard came and took a picture of me,” the mother said.
However, the officer insisted, “This has nothing to do with breastfeeding.”
The CVPD agreed. “The Chula Vista Police Department’s involvement in the incident was due to the welfare and safety of the infant and not due to a mother’s legal right to breastfeed in public," it said in a statement released Friday.
Still, one of Christopherson's friends told NBC 7 the woman was asked to stop breastfeeding because it was "making others uncomfortable."
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on Jul. 16, 2014 at 2:19 PM