State Police report a woman who sped off with her severely dehydrated infant son in Wilkes-Barre, PA, was found and arrested at Boston Children's Hospital, where she had brought her son.
Her infant son is receiving emergency medical treatment at a Boston hospital.
I have to question the decision to send out not one, but TWO cellular alerts in the middle of the night when most of the population is sleeping. I hope someone can step forward and offer a justification.
Also, is it even legal that your phone can essentially be taken over in this manner?
You can turn them off, though (exactly how depends on your phone OS, but look under Settings).
I have to think that sending an Amber Alert out during typical sleeping hours does more harm than good. How many people permanently disabled the alerts due to this one event? Those people will never get an alert again. I don't want an alert at 2 AM. It will never do any good, because I'm never in a place where I can find a missing child at 2 AM. I'm sleeping. That's my preferred 2 AM activity.
Personally, I won't turn them off, because I feel it's too important. I just wish there was a way to force them (Amber Alerts only) to obey my Do Not Disturb mode. Further complicated by the fact that other emergency alerts (i.e. tornado warning) are things that I WANT to get in the middle of the night.
I've received Amber Alerts in non-Boston cities in the middle of the night, for missing kids in areas of the state a few hundred miles away, under the justification that "a highway goes through the whole state so we have to check."
As much as I'm happy to look for kidnapped kids, the kind of people who can find them in their houses at 3 am will not be calling the police.
Just because you don't know how to use your phone doesn't mean they did something illegal.
Now, these instructions are for iPhone but I imagine Android has similar settings (good luck, Windows Phone users).
Go to your settings and setup Do Not Disturb to turn itself on from 12A to 5A (or whatever hours you want). Then for all those "but what if my mom..." calls, setup the "anyone from my favorites can still get through" setting and make your mom one of your favorites (if she isn't already, you bastard). You can also turn DND on/off at any time from the swipe-up menu (it's the little moon).
Now, you won't be woken up by Amber Alerts or terrorist attacks or immediate weather threats...BUT the alerts will all still be waiting for you when you wake up, so you won't miss them either and might save a kid's life some day instead of trading off that possibility for a good night's sleep.
For what it's worth, at least with iPhone, Emergency and Amber Alerts override Do Not Disturb.
I think that is true for all phones (it does for my Samsung running Android), but you can turn off emergency alerts.
Amber and Emergency alerts ignore the Do Not Disturb setting.
*Source: My phone in DND mode woke me up last night for this Amber Alert.
Smart phones with motion sensors in them ought to know if the owner is not moving, not actively using the phone, not moving from cell tower to cell tower, or moving from GPS location to GPS location. That, the time of the day, and past history of behavior are a good predictor that the owner is likely sleeping. Sleeping people are unlikely to spot vehicles and children in amber alerts, so there is very little point in waking them. They can have the message stored on the phone and delivered once the owner seems to have woken up via some phone movement/activity.
I have my phone on DND and silent mode during the night and didn't hear a thing.
I had my phone on DND (I know because I was sure to check for the icon after being woken up) and the Amber alert punched through and woke me up.
It isn't advertised anywhere that every phone you buy these days has four separate classes of alert turned on by default (one of which can't be turned off, full stop), buried in a settings menu that no normal person would ever find unless they were looking for it. It certainly isn't clear to me why sending out an alert at 2AM, ten hours after the abduction happened, at a time when no one would possibly do anything about it for another five, is a useful exercise.
For that matter, I don't understood why Amber Alerts became a thing. Every law enforcement agency, highway department, and communications carrier in the country will drop everything to advertise a missing child, but when someone opens fire into a crowd at Forest Hills and flees into the surrounding area, I have to rely on T alerts and U Hub to learn about it? (Yes I have kids. No I don't think the 1-in-10-billion-chance of an Amber Alert ever helping is worth it)
Non-custodial bio parents snatched a kid in Oregon recently, and the amber alert generated enough reports that the cops were able to find and surround the abductors within an hour.
Where they don't help is screaming at sleeping people, hours after the fact. That's an implementation issue, not an effectiveness issue.
The recovery rate is not very high (about 25%), but it is still non-zero. http://www.amberalert.gov/statistics.htm
Learn some compassion or at least how to use technology. We are talking about a child's life and you're concerned about your comfort...really???
Hahaha Your kidding me right? The justification for sending out two notifications late at night is that the safety of a child is more important than your beauty sleep. Someone's child had been kidnapped and was in great danger, had this been your child would you have said oh no no it's to late to have people's phones ping twice. And not only that but the state has an obligation to notify you if there is a dangerous criminal on the lose in your area. If they did not send out this notice and this woman decided to break in to your home and hold you hostage you would be saying why did the police not warn the public of the savarity of this situation.....the Amber alert exists not only for the child's safety but for yours! Smh
How were thousands of sleeping Bostonians going to be able to help this child?
Yes, if there's an escaped ax murderer running loose in my neighborhood, notification might be nice. This was not one of those cases.
I agree with you but what if you were in the situation and needed that kind of help catching an intruder in that manner, wouldn't you want to wake up as many ppl you think might be of assistance as possible, even if that includes the whole nation? Just saying.
If you don't want to bothered, turn off the alerts. Easy!
Now, I'm not judging... But did someone really name their daughter Tiffany Cherry?
so yes, presumably they did. Why does it matter?
I'll be curious to hear the backstory on this, especially after being woken up out of a sound sleep. Why did she flee--is she mentally unstable? Was she afraid they'd take the baby away? It all seems strange.
for strippers and porn actresses! ... or those changing their names wishing to be thought sexually desirable.
You might think that.
She may have married into that name, too. Huge number of women named "Tiffany" of that age. "Brittney" and "Ashley", too.
See the very successful jazz trumpeter Don Cherry and his children. And cram it!
MyFoxBoston reported Cherry has two outstanding warrants for defaults on old prostitution charges!
 AND a photo of her shows a necklace with a rhinestone stripper shoe!!!
Honest to God...are you simple? You think she went out and named herself? Always a possibility I guess but it's her last name and not outlandishly uncommon. Leave it to you to turn it into character assassination.
Its the name Tiffany because its used with Cherry. Name her Shawanda or Taniqua or another non stripper name. Martian Short is a fine, but Dick Short is a bad name choice, for example.
You knew you recognized her from somewhere ...
Wait ... she's not a 14 year old boy?
There is a also a sportscaster in Australia by that name: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/sports-broadcaster-tiffa...
For me, they have to at least have a driver's license and a car. ;-)
I mean, besides the one on top of your head?
Driving cars does not make you an adult. Being over 18 does. Responsible adults don't waste money on extremely expensive things with limited utility, especially when they are easy to rent if needed.
ie they ride bicycles and can't drive cars yet, so I'm just not into them. It was a joke. 28 is still too young for me.
Don Cherry named his children Porsche, Brandy, and Crystal.
No, wait, he didn't.
For those disgruntled over receiving an Amber alert late night (early morning) Saturday...under your phone's apps (for droid) there is one labeled "emergency alerts"..that you can turn off...of course that also means you won't be warned of an impending asteroid collision or tornado either..but you don't want to be woken up anyway. There is no "do not call" list for these... A child goes missing and they sound the alarm..it heightens the chance that the child is found safe by those that are up. Had I been sleeping, I doubt I would have minded much, because somewhere, the frightened family of that missing child isn't worried about an inconvenience, they just want their child back. When did we become such a selfish society?
At least on newer Android phones, you can disable Amber Alerts but still get impending-asteroid Alerts.
I don't want to know about it. I'd rather be sound asleep.
Statistically, 3 people will die of drug overdose in MA over the next 24 hours. If we follow your reasoning, should we all stay up all night because of that?
"Source: Mass. opioid deaths topped 1,000 in 2014" -Boston Globe
One or two people complaining on universal hub does not a selfish society make.
I have a droid phone - version 5.1. I can turn off Amber Alerts separately than BIGASS TORNADO ONE BLOCK AWAY GO TO GROUND NOW NOW NOW alerts.
I went to Settings -> Wireless and Networks -> More -> Emergency Broadcasts ... and unchecked the "Amber Alerts" box. I left the "extreme threats" and "severe threats" on, because that might be worth waking up for.
I agree. I've had about 4 amber alerts on my phone in the past year or so. Last night I was awakened, but I have been awake and out at 2am on a Friday many other times. It just seems like a slight inconvenience for me and a large group of other people with possibly life changing effects for some others. It sure was annoying last night. I got up and got a drink of water and went back to sleep and I slept soundly knowing that other people who were out on the roads might help find a missing child.
I think most people would be concerned or compassionate about a missing child. The bigger picture is how these devices have insidiously taken over every inch of people's lives, including while they are sleeping, and how they can be used by the powers that be. And now if those powers that be want us to know something they are going to make damn surer we know it, asleep, awake or otherwise. Today a missing child, tomorrow something else.
My wife's phone woke us up in the middle of the night to alert us of that. As happen in virtually all cases, the kid was taken away by a relative. Once you find the relative, you find the "kidnapped" kid, and that's the end of it. Amber alerts have been shown to be of very little use in finding lost people, while creating unnecessary fear and paranoia. Issuing this kind of message in the middle of the night was very poor judgement, and guarantees that many people will change their setting not to be bothered again. This morning, I did just that by making sure to turn off the "Amber Alert" setting on our phones. If you have an Andoroid phone, it's under Settings > More > Emergency alerts.
Sort of pathetic how butthurt all of you guys are about rhis grave inconvenience.
Sure, 99.99% of the people who receive it won't or can't help, but on the off chance that someone gets it while on the road and sees rhe car, what then?
Perspective, people. You got woken up. Whoop tee do
I've never seen an Amber Alert that wasn't a custody issue. Wasn't the system supposed to be used for marauding psychopath serial killers?
It's for noncustodial abductions where clear information is known that can be distributed (like car make/model). That doesn't matter if it's a relative or a psychopath.
A severely dehydrated 2 1/2 month old infant was in true mortal danger- dehydration kills babies. Does it really matter if the nutcase who had him was a stranger or a blood relative with custody rights? It's the right of that baby to receive life-saving treatment that should be our concern. I'm glad to know that the child was found and hospitalized before it was too late- thanks for the info, Adam.
Yes, it should matter if the "nutcase" with the baby was a stranger or a blood relative, if the question is whether you need to alert the entire public about the situation.
Besides, the baby was not "found and hospitalized" but "hospitalized and found". The mom already took the baby to the hospital.
When the staff at Children's Hospital were notified of the Amber Alert they realized the boy was at the hospital and called Boston Police.
I wouldn't be surprised if she drove across four states to avoid out-of-network charges.
I was left wondering if she was assumed to be in PA, but was really in MA, called her doctor in PA on a PA cell phone, and then did what she was asked to do (get the kid to the ER)?
The details were not very clear. Not that it is any of our business, even with the rude awakening.
And it wasn't me
The problem is there is very strict criteria on when an alert can be issued, including confirmation of abduction and having useful info to broadcast (suspect, car info, child, etc).
In cases of parental abduction, its a lot easier to satisfy the the requirements because its known who has the kid and that they shouldn't have them, than the random psychopath serial killer abductor that no one saw take the kid.
To me the mistake that was made was sending out the alert that said it was in the Wilkes Barre area (but car did have NH plates )
The kid is safe and that is all that matters and we have something to gripe about this morning. :)
Is that I should never let Mike Rodgers on my trivia team.
So my phone received 1 text with a description of the car and the PA and NH locations, but no info/description about who was actually abducted. Not terribly useful. In any case I didn't see the msg until after 10 this morning. Thanks Adam for letting us know the child was found.
If it were YOUR kid, you’d wake the whole damn world.
If you still wanna complain, then go straight to hell. I’m sure someone there will sympathize.
Doesn't work as well as thinking with your brain. And my brain says that waking up a few million people pisses them off and doesn't get the kid found, no matter what my heart says.
I'd want the world to stay asleep, as his mother probably did in this case.
And then I went right back to sleep. What's the big deal?
Fortunately, in my case (especially since I had to get up at a ridiculous time this morning to get the kidlet to school at 5:45 a.m. for a trip to Williamstown), I recharge my phone in the bathroom.
Unless it's absolutely necessary to keep your phone powered on 24/7/365 (in 2016, 24/7/366)... turn it off at night.
And yes, earlier posters are correct, the Amber alert can be turned off in the settings. Only the Presidential Alerts (in which I have yet to receive one of those) cannot be turned off, the other categories can.
FWIW, I leave mine off at night.
Turns off all alerts. Then still at 3:00 AM your phone starts blaring all kinds of sounds and stuff. You think "I thought I turned all the alerts off, arrrgg this better be good" and then you read a message from the president that you're about to get nuked. You immediately realize you basically have 15 minutes to find the best possible shelter and your good byes.
1. My phone is my alarm clock. It's a much better alarm clock than any actual alarm clock I've ever owned.
2. I want to be reachable in the middle of the night in case of emergency.
No. I want to get notified if I'm needed for something important. Like a family member or friend who has an emergency.
I shouldn't have to wall myself off from all communication because there's no other way to stop this government paranoia nonsense.
According to the Globe, the woman may have meant well: She brought her son to a health clinic, where they told her he was severely dehydrated and she needed to get him to a hospital. So she bypassed local hospitals and drove to Children's - more than 300 miles away.
Why was this alert issued? Is there more to the story we don't know? They issued an amber alert because the mom refused specific medical advice? How did they know she didn't seek the care at a facility close by? Doesn't seem to me like there is any abduction here. This reeks of government overreaching and overreacting.
Rather than government overreach:
The clinic told her her son needed hospital care right away so when she left, they called Wilkes-Barre General Hospital to alert them a dehydrated infant would be arriving shortly. And then, when that did not happen, they contacted police, who began looking for her, discovered some sort of evidence that led them to believe she was on her way to Waltham, Mass., and alerted authorities here.
Having been the parent of an infant who became seriously dehydrated, I know it's a serious condition (one that fortunately is easily treated - and, yes, we went to Children's, too, but, then, we live in Roslindale), so I can understand the urgency of trying to find the baby
The above is strictly my trying to figure out what might have happened; I have no inside knowledge about what really did happen (and I doubt the hospital in Wilkes-Barre is called Wilkes-Barre General Hospital). Not everything that happens is some sort of evil government conspiracy.
That's why I can't fathom why the pediatrician didn't call an ambulance, instead sending her to the hospital ER on her own.
Going into an ER these days can mean waiting as much as an hour while an administrative person with no medical training takes people in order of appearance, including those where the doctor has called ahead, before sending them into see a triage nurse or doctor, again in order of arrival.
This is why I'll never take a sick kid into Winchester Hospital ever again. Or a sick anybody, for that matter. Unfortunately, putting that non-medically trained admin person between patient and triage has apparently become a thing at many hospitals.
Yes, if I were in Eastern Massachusetts, I would have driven to Children's, since like you I've driven by the Faulkner with a dehydrated infant to see the specialists (who do triage well so you get the IV started quick.) But if I were in Philly or Bangor, ME, I would opt for closer coverage.
Perhaps the thing was blow up a bit, but until I hear the entire thing, I gotta question her judgement (and yes, having been in those exact shoes, I should know better.)
From her rap sheet that we're talking about a woman with a history of bad judgment. I also question mom's decision to drive her child to the best hospital she knew for children instead of taking him to the local stitch-em-up. The child _could_ have died in the car.
But this Amber Alert did absolutely nothing to contribute to the welfare of the child, a child who was at no point abducted.
She's not the only one showing bad judgment.
This article filled in quite a few gaps in the story --- thanks for adding it.
It was also educational as I learned there is protitition in Somerville.
If my child was in harm's way. There was no harm in disturbing me. I hadn't even gone to sleep yet. It was Friday night.
But of course, there are always those who only see their own situation and couldn't care less about innocent children. You don't care about emergency broadcast transmissions .... unplug it!!
by these alerts when you're sleeping. Simple solution - turn off your cellphone.
Sadly, the concept that phones have an 'off' button seems to be lost on the texting generation.
No. I want to be reachable by the people who matter to me. I didn't turn off my landline every night, and I'm not turning off my cell either.
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