MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The mother of a six-year-old boy who was found wandering in the streets of Little Havana “scared and crying” said she realizes she made a mistake leaving him home alone.
CBS4’s Peter D’Oench spoke with 30-year-old Rosa Recarte at her Little Havana apartment after a $5,000 bond was posted for her on child neglect charges.
At first she said, “I don’t want to talk. I’ve got to go to court.” But then she told D’Oench, “My son is ok. I realize I made a mistake. These are things that happen so we can all learn from them. Well everyone does make a mistake. We are not perfect. This can happen to anyone.”
Her son, Carlos, was found by Miami Police just before 4 a.m. on Thursday at Southwest 1st Street and Southwest 14th Avenue, about five blocks from his apartment. He was wearing only pajamas and was carrying a backpack filled with toys.
The child told police he had woken up in the middle of the night and was scared. He used a wooden duck to break a window and get out of his apartment. On the way out, he cut his hand.
Recarte told police she had left her son alone in the apartment because he was sleeping and usually slept through the night. She said she had been out with a friend since 12:30 a.m.
She returned to her apartment after police found out her cell phone number and called her.
Recarte appeared at the Juvenile JusticeCenter before Judge Cindy Lederman, who said she was very concerned about this case. “This could have turned out to be much worse,” said Lederman.
She listened intently as an attorney for the Department of Children and Families said the child was found “wandering in the street, scared and crying.”
Judge Lederman found probable cause not to return Carlos to his mother’s apartment.
Carlos, who is in DCF custody, was brought to court for the hearing.
His father also appeared before the judge, who expressed surprise that the father admitted that he had not seen Carlos in at least a year.
“I’d say the last time I saw him was over a year ago,” the father said through a translator.
The father said he had been denied access to his son by the mother. There was also testimony that the father had not paid child support for Carlos in three months.
Judge Lederman ordered that an emergency home study be conducted by DCF for the father as well as the home of the mother’s cousins, in case Carlos is not placed with his father and his four siblings.
Rosa Recarte stood silently in court during the hearing and shed tears before it was over.
“My goal is to try to not put the child with strangers,” said a concerned Lederman. “I don’t see this case as one of the more difficult ones to work out.”
There will be another hearing concerning Carlos in her courtroom at 1:30 p.m. on December 10th.
On Thursday, Carlos said, “I almost got lost and I was running around. I was heading for my sister’s house and I was standing up.”
In court, there was testimony that some of his siblings lived just two blocks away from the mother’s apartment.
DCF says it does not have a history of problems with the mother.
Neighbor Rolando Rodriguez told D’Oench that Recarte was “a good mother” and said he had seen no other problems and did not think she had ever left Carlos home alone before.