DEERFIELD BEACH (CBSMiami) – A South Florida mom is facing child neglect charges for allegedly leaving her 2-years-old boy inside a car while she was at a Deerfield Beach bar.
This story could have turned tragic and it prompted some strong words from a spokeswoman for the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
BSO Spokeswoman Gina Carter told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “What happened here is a clear-cut case of child neglect and that’s what she is charged with. It is extremely dangerous to leave a child alone and we have seen so many cases where parents, caregivers, and babysitters have left children alone when they think it’s ok for just 5 or 10 minutes and we have seen how easily these situations can turn tragic so any time you leave a child alone is inappropriate.”
Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the parking lot of Padano Bar and Grill in the 1800 block of West Hillsboro Blvd at around 1:30 a.m. Monday, after reports of a toddler in a car.
Responding units located the infant inside a car with the windows closed and the engine was not running.
The mom, who was identified as Jennifer Potts, 29, claims she had only left the boy inside the car for a few seconds while she ran to the bar to retrieve her driver’s license and cellphone.
She was taken into custody for Child Neglect without great bodily harm.
“She said she was only out of the car for a few seconds but we know that is completely false,” said Carter. “From the time the incident was called in to the time deputies found the child it took almost 20 minutes so we know for that amount of time perhaps longer the child was left alone in the car crying in the night.”
The arrest report says Potts smelled of alcohol and that she admitted to drinking an unknown amount.