HIALEAH (CBS4) -A 28-year-old exotic dancer with a criminal history is charged with child neglect after her 4-year-old son is found wandering in her neighborhood.
Police say when it happened, the mother, Jacqueline Perez, was home sleeping after admitting she was “high” on marijuana and had been drinking. And police are calling the sanitation worker who found the boy “a hero.”
That sanitation worker, Octavis Jermaine Jackson, told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that he’s relieved that the boy is doing fine.
“I’m just happy the boy is OK and that I could do what I did to help,” he said. “That’s what’s important. I don’t want the attention focused on me, just the little boy. He could have been in trouble. So I did what I felt was the right thing.”
“Apparently the child had been wandering for up to 3 hours and had sores on his feet from walking on the pavement,” said Detective Carl Zogby.
“The child’s mother said she had been asleep and after a night of drinking, she was high,” said Zogby. “Thank God the child was not run over or something like that. She admitted she had been drinking and smoking. At first she said she was surprised and she was dead asleep. Then she said this could happen to anybody. No this does not happen to anybody.”
Police say the story unfolded at 10 a.m. Thursday when sanitation worker Jackson was on his regular route when he noticed the four-year-old boy wandering the streets.
He approached the child and took him back to his home. He also called Police. They knocked on her door and found that she had been asleep and seemed drunk. She later told Police that she had been “smoking weed” and had been drinking late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.
Police say Perez is an “exotic dancer” at the “Pink Pony” club in Doral.
They also say they were horrified at the conditions inside the apartment she rented inside the Hialeah home.
“There was just one mattress on the floor,” said Zogby. “These certainly weren’t conditions for anyone to live in. It was dirty and there was no food.”
Perez’s landlord Eddy Gonzalez told D’Oench that the child could have been seriously hurt.
“He was climbing all over my motor home,” Gonzalez said with assistance from a translator. “He got in a neighbor’s house and his back yard. And he knocked over a figurine.”
The boy is now with his maternal grandmother and the Department of Children and Families is involved with this case.
Perez has a prior history of drug convictions and has been arrested before for strong arm robbery.
As she was taken by Hialeah Police to a waiting van, she tried to shield her face with her flex cuffs and repeatedly used profanity while telling photographers to get out of her way.
Landlord Eddy Gonzalez does not want her to return.
“When she gets here,” said Gonzalez. “I don’t want her here. Because we live a quiet life.”