But although the two cops felt desperately sad about the situation, they still had a job to do. Spragins therefore told West that they had come to arrest her. Consequently, the mom was charged with shoplifting and taken back to the Hillsborough Police Department HQ. Later, she was made to face the local magistrate; however, she wept so much that Spragins had to step in and offer her some tissues.
What’s more, Spragins felt the need to intervene in the hearing again, this time to explain to the magistrate about the sad circumstances that had led to the theft. And upon hearing of West’s plight, the magistrate himself was moved to personally help the accused before him. West later told The Herald-Sun, “The magistrate called his mother! He said, ‘Mama, this girl needs some food. We’re gonna have to hook her up.’”