Toddler slept on sidewalk as mom partied, Florida cops said

A Florida woman’s night at the discotheque landed her in jail after deputies reported finding her 3-year-old asleep on a sidewalk.

It happened Saturday, April 30, in Fort Walton Beach, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said in a May 1 news release. Fort Walton Beach is on the Florida Panhandle, about 160 miles southwest of Tallahassee.

“The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office was called to Gibson Street around 1 a.m. Saturday … after a security officer found a three year old wrapped in a blanket asleep on a sidewalk,” the sheriff’s office said.

A security guard on patrol found a 3-year-old sleeping on the sidewalk at 1 a.m. Saturday, April 30, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. Street View image from Nov. 2018. © 2022 Google

“Subsequent investigation led to the discovery of two more young children asleep alone in an apartment at the complex.”

Investigators did not release the ages of the other two children.

The security guard was patrolling the Choctaw Village Apartments at the time of the discovery, according to WKRG. The apartment community consists of 48 two-story units along a largely residential street in north Fort Walton Beach.

A 25-year-old woman who identified herself as the mother of the children eventually returned to the apartment, where deputies questioned her, officials said.

She “admitted she had gone out to a nightclub about 90 minutes earlier, leaving the children unattended,” the sheriff’s office said.

The mom was arrested and charged with three counts of child neglect without great bodily harm, the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators did not say where the children were taken after their mother’s arrest.

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering beats including schools, crime, immigration, LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.

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