After spending nearly an hour in bad traffic with a hungry infant, all Guillermina Rodriguez could think about was how to stop and feed her baby.
As WABC reports, the mom of four had spent her morning trying to fight her way through New York City traffic with a hungry 3-week-old infant in the back seat of her car.
Guillermina had dropped her husband off at an appointment in midtown Manhattan. Forty-five minutes later, she’d only gone about a dozen blocks. Meanwhile, her daughter, Ileana, was making it very clear that she wanted to eat. Now.
“I’m like almost crying because she’s crying and all I wanna do is pull over so I can attend to her,” the mom told WABC.
Increasingly desperate, Guillermina spotted an empty space and decided to pull over to feed the baby. It was in a zone for commercial vehicles, but the mom had an emergency on her hands. She told CBS New York:
“Even though I saw it was a commercial area, I’m like, ‘I’m not obstructing the traffic. I’m not blocking anybody. Let me just stay there and I’ll breastfeed the baby there.'”
After pulling into the empty space, Guillermina got into the back seat of the SUV and began feeding her daughter. She also used the time to pump from her other breast.
But she said she’d only been there for about two minutes when an NYPD tow truck arrived. To Guillermina’s shock, the traffic officer immediately prepared to tow her car.
“He just literally took out the tow truck,” she told WABC. “He was gonna tow the car, without even looking in there.”
As the officer moved to hook up her car, Guillermina reached into the front seat and honked the horn to get his attention. When he peered into the car, she indicated that she had pulled over to breastfeed and pump. She told CBS New York:
“I’m actually breastfeeding on one side and pumping on the other so both my breasts are out and I turn and I’m like, ‘I’m breastfeeding the baby!’ He turned and looks and he’s like, ‘oh ok,’ … puts the ticket on the windshield and leaves.”
The ticket that she received was for $115. Guillermina thinks the traffic officer should have been more sensitive in this case. She told CBS that stopping to nurse should be considered an emergency that would exempt her from a fine:
“I think getting them a little more educated on that area would be helpful.”
The NYPD later explained that the traffic officer wrote the ticket before he saw the mom breastfeeding. He had to leave it because traffic agents don’t have the power to void tickets.
Guillermina plans to fight the ticket in court.