Wednesday, 29 April 2015

America's 'mom of the year' who chased her son home from riots reacts to nationwide praise and says: 'I Don't Feel Like a Hero'

Single mother-of-six Toya Graham spoke on Wednesday about dragging her teenage son home from the Baltimore riots, adding that when she saw the video clip, she thought: 'My pastor is going to kill me'

At least one Baltimore, Maryland, citizen is safe from the riots that have engulfed the city in the wake of Monday's funeral for Freddie Gray, who died of a spinal cord injury while in police custody. A Baltimore mother hailed as 'Mom of the year' for clobbering her teenage son and dragging him home from the riots admitted sheepishly on Wednesday: 'My pastor is going to kill me.'
Toya Graham, a single mother-of-six, was caught on camera whacking her 16-year-old son Michael, pulling off his ski mask and chasing him down the street as rioters clashed with police, looted stores and burned down buildings and cars.
The riots broke out following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray earlier this month who died of a spinal cord injury after being taken into custody by Baltimore police.  
Her actions have drawn praise from moms across the country along with the Baltimore police chief who said: 'I wish there were more parents out there who took charge of their kids tonight.'

Shot by local ABC affiliate WMAR, the video shows an unnamed Baltimore teen, who WMAR said had been throwing rocks at police, being forcibly dragged away from the scene of the riot by his unhappy mother, after she apparently spotted him on television. 

"You want to be out here doing this dumb s---?" the woman asks her son, before slapping him in the face a few times. The boy, dressed in all black and a mask, manages to break free from his mother's grip, though she appears to have successfully wrangled him away from the rest of the group. 

Later Tuesday, the woman was identified as Toya Graham, and she spoke to CBS News about why she pulled her son from the fray. 

"At that point, you know, not even thinking about cameras or anything like that," she said. "That's my only son and at the end of the day I don't want him to be a Freddie Gray.' " 

On Wednesday, the mother told CBS This Morning that she "just lost it" when she spotted her son. "I recognized those baggy sweatpants and we made eye contact. I was saying, 'How dare you do this?' " 

"A lot of his friends have been killed. I just want to keep him in the house, but that's not really going to work," she said. "He's been in trouble before. He knows right from wrong but he's just like other teens, he doesn't have the perfect relationship with the police in Baltimore." 

She added: "But for him to be doing what he was doing, it was just unacceptable." 

Despite being hailed as the "Mom of the Year" on social media, Graham said she didn't "feel like a hero." 

"My intention was to get my son and have him be safe," she said. "I knew the whole thing was not safe." 

Over 100 members of the National Guard arrived in Baltimore early Tuesday morning, joining police and firefighters in attempts to rein in the wave of looting, rioting and fires that continued through Monday night. 

Graham went down to where the riots were taking place after hearing schools had been let out early. She said she recognized her son's baggy sweatpants and 'lost it'Graham saw her son throwing rocks at the police line during the riots and grabbed him to chase him home on Monday (pictured)Graham saw her son throwing rocks at the police line during the riots and grabbed him to chase him home on Monday (pictured)Graham, a single mother-of-six, has drawn praise across the country, for getting her rioting son in check 


  1. I feel you Mama! Only son of six children, imagine. Hahaha!

    1. Nothing extraordinary o.she did what every caring and protective mom would v done#momkeeptheirkidssafe