A Detroit mother is free after spending 36 hours in jail over an erroneous hospital test that showed her 5-year-old son had cocaine in his system.
Starla McCray, 37, was arrested last week after police said her son Malik tested positive for the illicit drug, local station WXYZ reported. McCray said she had taken Malik to Children’s Hospital of Detroit to be screened for ADHD and was shocked when doctors said he tested positive for cocaine.
“He was crying while they were taking me away, saying ‘Don’t take my mom,’ ” she recalled of the moment authorities placed her in handcuffs.
Children’s Hospital of Detroit has since apologized for the incident, saying it was all a big mistake. Apparently, there was an error in the test. The mother has since been released from jail and reunited with her son, but the hospital’s apology has done little to quell her outrage. She said the entire ordeal has left her hurt, angry and embarrassed.
“After 36 hours they had to let me go,” McCray said. “As I’m walking out, The Lieutenant waiting on me apologized to me and said Children’s called him and said the results was a mistake.”
“I’m just completely humiliated,” she added. “I’m not that monster that they tried to make me look like … I just want the world to know, I would never hurt my son and the way I’ve been treated like I’m the worst parent in the world. My son is my life.”
The hospital released a statement regarding its mishap, saying they “reached out to the family to express our sincere apologies.”
“Detroit Medical Center takes its responsibility to our pediatric patients and their families very seriously,” the hospital said. “Our lab team and our hospital leaders are deeply sorry for the unfortunate situation that occurred as a result of a testing error.”
Though getting over the embarrassment may take some time, McCray said getting her son the help he needs remains her number one priority.