In Friday’s Post and Courier your Charleston child injury lawyers at Howell Law read an article concerning an alleged child neglect incident that happened a week ago today. Last Tuesday afternoon, North Charleston police officers found a 9-year-old boy walking alone along the busy International Boulevard, according to the article. When police asked the youngster why he was by himself he responded by telling the officers that his mother had left him at the Walmart Supercenter on nearby Center Pointe Drive.
The boy also told officers he was making his way toward a library on Dorchester Road. When asked by police where he lived, he told the officers he lived in Dorchester Village, a mobile home park off of Dorchester Road. Then the officers kindly put the little guy in the back of their patrol car to give him a ride home.
Upon arriving to the 9-year-old boy’s home, they found the mother lying on a couch. When the mother was first asked where the boy was, she said her son was at home. According to the police report, the officer “asked her to explain to [him] why [her son] was in the rear of [his] patrol car.”
According to the child’s mother, the young boy had run away from her when they were at the Walmart. She went on to tell officers she then found him, but then he ran away from her again and refused to get into the car as she chased him. In the report “she states she returned to the store and then headed without keeping a visual on him or knowing his whereabouts.” The officers that returned the boy home charged his 40-year-old mother with child neglect.
According to the South Carolina Code of Laws it is unlawful for a person who has charge or custody of a child, or who is the parent or guardian of a child, or who is responsible for the welfare of a child; to place the child at unreasonable risk of harm affecting the child’s life, physical or mental health, or safety; do or cause to be done unlawfully or maliciously any bodily harm to the child so that the life or health of the child is endangered or likely to be endangered; or willfully abandon the child.
In this incident it is alleged that the mother made the willful decision to leave her child at the Walmart Supercenter, which placed her 9-year-old child at risk of serious injury and harm, as he was walking alone along a heavily traveled street, placing him in immediate danger of being caught between a serious auto accident, or being struck by a motor vehicle.
Also according to the Post and Courier’s article, when the police were at the home, the mother’s oldest daughter (20) came out of the home yelling and cursing at her young brother, saying it was all his fault that their mother was being arrested. She was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
The South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) was contacted and took the 9-year-old boy, his 7-year-old brother, and 3-year-old sister into custody.