Here was their defense: It turns out that in the mom's hometown of Copenhagen, leaving your kid outside while you grab some dinner or a latte is as normal as not leaving your kid outside while you grab some dinner or a latte in New York.
The restaurants are small and smoky and crowded, and the sidewalk is as safe and unattended as the Muppet Baby nursery, apparently. Parents all over Europe have no problem littering the streets with the fruit of their loins.
This also explains why the New York situation wasn't an isolated incident -- a Swedish mom was gobsmacked (or whatever the Swedish version of that word is) when she was busted for leaving her kid outside a Tex-Mex restaurant in Massachusetts. Not only do European criminals not kidnap babies or their high-end strollers willy-nilly, European police are totally used to seeing kids out on the street unattended. "The child wasn't in danger and the mother claims she had an eye on things," one Stockholm cop told the press. You'd think the people who were the inspiration for the syndrome of sympathizing with your kidnappers would be a little more self-aware about how bad this looks. But you'd be wrong!