Speaking up can be frightening, especially when faced with a dangerous situation with potential consequences.
But one brave mom-to-be from Paris, Tennessee, has proven that speaking up, even when it’s difficult, could save a life.
Jordan Cooper is a part-time waitress at Olive Garden. She takes weekends shifts, though she doesn’t regularly work Sunday nights.
But this one particular Sunday evening shift turned Cooper into a godsend. While waiting on a table of a couple with two young children, the observant server knew in her gut something was horribly wrong.
The baby in particular, whom Cooper guessed was younger than 2, caught her attention right away. “I can’t even describe to you how bad she looked and how and why nobody noticed it,” Cooper told WPSD.
In a viral Facebook post that has since been deleted, Cooper described the child’s face as “black and blue all over.”
She went on to explain that the man was handling the little girl harshly, force feeding her, grabbing her shirt and taking her to the bathroom whenever she cried.
It was this woman’s quick thinking that got this couple into the hands of authorities and behind bars — with a $200K bail each.
With the help of another table at the restaurant, Cooper was able to capture a photo of the man in the background.
— Stop, Drop & Roll One Annie (@CrazyXxYall) March 7, 2019
“I had slid them my number, and they sent [the photos] to me as soon as they walked out the door,” Cooper shared with WPSD.
She was also able to get the license plate number on their vehicle and called 911 to get DCFS immediately involved.
An Olive Garden waitress wrote a Facebook post about serving a baby covered in ‘black and blue’ bruises. The baby’s parents were later arrested. https://t.co/M3Iw84Ka6R
— INSIDER (@thisisinsider) March 7, 2019
911 dispatcher and friend Aaron Caldwell took down the information Cooper provided and was soon able to track the couple down. Facebook also played a part in uncovering more details.
“She put it online and when I found it. It had 1,400 shares,” Caldwell shared with WSIL. “It just so happened that we knew each other and I’m a dispatcher.”
In the end, the parents — Mark Lee Pierce and Jessica Woodworth — are facing charges for aggravated child abuse and neglect and the children are now safe. Cooper expressed she has no regrets.
Though her original post can only be viewed via screenshot on WPSD, Cooper did share a follow-up post to let her followers know the two children are safe.
“I deleted the post but the baby is found and the… parents are in custody,” she wrote. “My heart can now be at rest. Thank you to everyone who helped me find these terrible people!”
It’s plain to see Cooper is a hero and will be an amazing mama! We’re grateful for people like her who speak up when it’s needed most.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.