Mom defends herself after video of kids alone in car goes viral

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A Mid-South mom is catching a lot of heat for leaving her three small kids in the car while she went inside a Berclair store.

Another woman confronted her and streamed the encounter on Facebook Live.

As of Sunday afternoon, the video had been watched 157,000 times shared by nearly 6,000 people.

In it, a woman walks up to a car outside Hibbett’s Sports on Summer Avenue Friday afternoon with her cell phone camera rolling, and asks the children where their mom is.

When one tells her she's in the store, the woman goes inside and confronts Katlin Brandon, 22, for leaving her 11-month-old, 3- and 4-year-old kids alone in the car with the engine off and one window partially cracked as temperatures soared to 93 degrees.

"Why you leave your kids in the car with your dumb {expletive} like that?" she asks in the video. "Don’t be dumb."

"I was just coming right back," Brandon says.

“{Expletive} that," the woman responds. "Go get them {expletive} kids. All these {expletive} kids dying every {expletive} where."

When Brandon tries to defend herself, the woman continues berating her and follows her as she walks back to the car.

“Stupid {expletive}. You left one window down," she says as Brandon drives away. "You’ve got three other {expletive} windows. With your dumb stupid {expletive}. You’re going on live. Dumb {expletive}."

But Brandon is defending herself, saying she was having problems with her car battery, and only went into the store for two minutes to get help.

"I never left my eye from the car," she said. "And then I stood at the door trying to look for somebody for help."

Just as she says she was about to go back to the car, the woman confronted her.

"She wouldn’t even let me explain myself," Brandon said. "And I understand it was wrong. I should have took my kids out of the car and went I the store with them. But I didn’t think about it at that time."

However, Hibbett's Sports' manager, Sabrina Aguirre, tells a different story.

She says Brandon walked in and immediately started browsing, never once mentioning her car or asking for help.

"She went straight to our shoe wall looking at the shoes," she said. "She was in there a good two to three minutes."

We asked Brandon how she was able to start her car after coming out of the store if she was having battery issues.

"I don’t know how my car started right then and there," she said. "Yes, it made it seem like I was lying, that I’m not telling the truth. But I had just got a boost off from the Dollar Tree, so I assume the battery was charging itself."

Brandon said as soon as she pulled off, her car stalled again.

She tells WREG she even called police herself and they let her off with a warning.

"No mother’s perfect. Everyone makes mistakes," Brandon said. "And yes, I made a mistake, but I love my children more than anything."

Since the video went viral, she says she’s been getting threats and wants people to know she’s learned her lesson.

"Whether it’s hot or cold, never leave a child in a motor vehicle. I understand now," Brandon said.

Police didn’t file a report and Brandon said the officer warned her never to leave her kids alone in the car again.