KENNER, La. -- A woman was falsely identified as the suspect who shoplifted, used a stun gun on a security guard and left an infant at the Esplanade Mall on Saturday.
Kenner police spokesman said the mother of the abandoned child, Stephanie Johnson, identified Brittany London, 21, as the person who was responsible.
However, hours after London's name circulated the Internet in tears she arrived at Kenner police headquarters to clear her name.
"I was shocked," London said. "I'm just clearing my name. It wasn't me. They got the identity messed up and my nerves is something bad."
Police said Johnson knew London from Facebook. London said she doesn't know the mother of the abandoned child.
"I don't know the mother of the child. I don't know none of them," London told WDSU.
In the Saturday incident, police said when a mall security guard approached the woman, she pulled out a stun gun and shot him.
Police said the woman fled, pushing the stroller with the baby inside. She was chased to the parking lot where officers said she got into a gold Honda Accord. The woman left the baby and fled the scene, police said.
The African-American baby, who investigators said was estimated to be between 6 to 8 months old, was placed in protective custody until a relative could be located.
Johnson came forward, claiming to be the child's mother. However, police said Johnson wasn't forthcoming in identifying the person who left her child behind and alone. As of Monday afternoon after Johnson recanted London as the suspect, she said it was her sister-in-law, Charbaney Smith, who left her baby behind after the incident.
“OCS is concerned not only where the child is going to go, but what kind of responsible parent is going to say, ‘Oh, it wasn't me. Someone else had my child.’ But then not know a whole lot about the person that had their child?” McInnis said.
Police said the woman would have only faced a misdemeanor shoplifting charge, but now will face felony charges, including child endangerment and aggravated battery.
Johnson now faces a charge of obstruction of justice, falsely identifying London as the suspect.
London's father, Henry Carter, said he is furious with the situation and his anger is turned toward the investigation by police.
[....] "She'll be damaged the rest of her life. ... It's hard to accept," Carter said. "We live by the law, but this is wrong."[/