PHOENIX - "My 6-year-old was in tears because he thought mommy was going to jail because this guy just told me he was going to call the police on me," Clarissa Bradford recalled Thursday morning.
She had a tough time explaining why she and her children had to leave a Phoenix McDonald's Wednesday night.
Bradford claims the assistant manager kicked her family out of the restaurant for breastfeeding her 6-month-old.
"There's not even a word for it. I was furious," she said.
Bradford took her kids to meet a friend at the restaurant for ice cream after a church function.
While her friend watched the children in the play area, she says she discreetly nursed.
After a short time, the assistant manager asked them all to leave.
"I said, 'Well, excuse me, I am allowed to nurse anywhere in the state of Arizona, I am protected by the law,'" she explained.
However, she says the manager insisted they leave, even following them to the parking lot threatening to call police.
Bradford said her calls and e-mails complaining about the incident have gone unanswered, but late Thursday afternoon, in an e-mail to ABC15, the owner of the McDonalds apologized, saying, "This was a mistake," and, "It has never been our policy to ask nursing mothers to leave our restaurant."
Even so, Bradford says she's still fuming. She's looking for legal council, and is reaching out to other moms.
"I'd like to schedule a nurse-in. If he thinks one nursing mom is bad, just wait. He's going to be sorry, and he's going to educate himself on breastfeeding," she said.
Owner Dorothy Stingley issued a full statement Thursday, saying:
As the owner of this restaurant, I would like to apologize to this customer for her recent experience at my restaurant. As a mother myself, I understand why this is upsetting.
Rest assured, it has never been our policy to ask nursing mothers to leave our restaurant. This was a mistake. All employees are required to comply with local, state and federal laws.
Our top priority is always to satisfy our customers, and I have personally spoken to my restaurant management team to ensure this does not happen again.
ABC15 learned of the incident after a friend of Bradford's, who was with her at McDonald's Wednesday, posted a message on ABC15.com's Facebook page .
Copyright 2010 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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