NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBS4)-One day after a four-year-old Hialeah boy was found wandering in his neighborhood and after his mother was arrested for child neglect, a Juvenile Justice Center Judge has decided that the boy should live with his maternal grandmother.
Juvenile Court Judge George Sarduy appeared deeply touched by the plight of the boy who police say had been wandering for up to three hours and whose feet had sores on them for the time he had spent on the street.
The Judge spoke to the child’s maternal grandmother Elsa Perez.
“The first thing is that I want you to love this child,” he said.
Judge Sarduy asked for the boy to be brought to court. He spoke with him, hugged him and made sure he had some toys to play with.
Judge Sarduy also ordered that the boy’s mother, 28-year-old Jacqueline Perez, an exotic dancer at the Pink Pony Club in Doral, have no contact with her son. He told the grandmother that if that happened, she had to call police or her case manager.
Perez was charged with child neglect on Thursday after sanitation worker Octavis Jermaine Jackson found the boy wandering in the neighborhood.
She told Police she had fallen asleep after drinking and “smoking weed.” Police said Perez had been arrested before for strong arm robbery and has a number of convictions for drug offenses.
At juvenile court, the paternal grandmother appeared as well. She told Judge Sarduy that her son was sent to jail right after Jacqueline Perez became pregnant and was in prison now for five years.
The Judge said he wanted to speak with the father and ordered that he be brought to court in Miami-Dade from his prison cell in Immokalee for a future hearing. The next hearing is set for April 7th.
The grandmothers left the Juvenile Justice Center through a back door along with the four-year-old boy to avoid camera crews waiting for them.
Meanwhile, a Judge in bond court increased bond for Jacqueline Perez from $5,000 to $15,000 following the latest charges and the judge also made note of Perez’s prior criminal history.
Perez told the judge she lived in South Florida her whole life. A public defender was appointed for her.