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N.Y. stroller mom banned from grocery store

Brooklyn Fairway grocery store
People shop at a Brooklyn Fairway grocery store on Aug. 14, 2008, in New York. Getty

(CBS) A New York mother was recently kicked out of a popular supermarket on the city's Upper East Side after she failed to pay for a half-gallon of milk and other beverages she says she accidentally left in her stroller.

Elissa Drassinower, 33, told the New York Post, "The security guard took my photograph, told me I was banned from Fairway for life and said I was lucky she didn't call the police. I was crying, my 20-month-old son was crying. It was humiliating."

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The stay-at-home mom says she wasn't shoplifting.

Drassinower says she put her milk and a six-pack of beer under her stroller because her hand basket was getting too heavy.

Drassinower told the Post, "When I was checking out, my son, who was really cranky, started acting up, and I forgot to pay for the milk and the beer."

When Drassinower left the store, she says was confronted by a store guard.

"She said she saw me put the milk and beer under the stroller," Drassinower said. "I apologized, explained what happened, said it was an honest mistake and that I fully intended to pay, but she just nodded her head and told me I was shoplifting."

Drassinower was not arrested, but says the guard then notified her that she was banned from the store for life. And, she says, the guard said, should she be found on the premises, she could be arrested for trespassing.

As for the grocery store chain, it stands by its decision, saying she was seen putting items under her stroller and covering them with the bagged goods she had purchased.

Bruce Bobbins, a spokesman for the company, told the publication, "The woman in question was caught both on camera and by security trying to conceal and pilfer a number of items including milk, Red Bull and beer. We exercised our right to not serve her again."

But the mother, who has no criminal record, told The Post, "I threw the bags underneath my stroller and didn't even look at what was in there."