A Tulsa woman, Casandra Jones has been arrested by police after her two-year-old son was found wandering the streets alone around midnight, Tulsa World is reporting. A concerned neighbor had alerted authorities of a toddler walking without shoes, diapers, or pants on 65th West Avenue from Charles Page Boulevard in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma.
When police found the boy, he was dirty and wearing only an oversize San Francisco 49ers football jersey. He also had toothpaste smeared all over his face. Witnesses told police that the boy lived several hundred feet from where he was found.
The boy’s home was a trailer and inside police officers found his 22-year-old mother, Casandra Jones passed out on a twin-sized bed. An officer said the door was wide open when they arrived and described the trailer as “extremely hot” with no running water, electricity, or food. The officer said the trailer was also dirty with tools and clothes and lighters scattered everywhere.
Deputies revealed that it took awhile for Casandra Jones to wake up and start talking. The 22-year-old told police that she had no idea that her two-year-old son had left the trailer and was walking the streets alone.Deputies arrested the 22-year-old mother for child neglect and took her son to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, where he could be better protected.
Tulsa Sherriff Spokesperson, Casey Roebuck explained his rationale for leaving the toddler in DHS custody saying “he was concerned the second he looked in the travel trailer that it wasn’t an appropriate environment for a child to be.”
Roebuck called the incident a “close one,” revealing that the risks of a child wandering the streets late at night were just too many to mention.
“This child was very vulnerable. This was late at night—he was wandering the street with no clothes on. He could have been hit by a vehicle, he could have been kidnapped. This child was in imminent danger, which is why the mother is now facing criminal charges.”
Neighbors have said they did not think that Casandra Jones was a bad mother, but she has remained in a Tulsa county jail on suspicion of child neglect, with bail set at $50,000.
There are over five outstanding arrest warrants for the 22-year-old woman, all of them misdemeanor traffic-related offenses. The offenses include driving without a license, not wearing a car seat-belt, and driving with an obstructed windshield.
A child welfare hearing for Casandra Jones has been scheduled for October 11.
This is not the first time that a young child has been neglected by a parent and found outside a home. According to the Daily Mail, a two-year-old boy was found crying outside his house after his Arizona parents left him alone to go play Pokemon Go. The toddler was found by police officers around 10:30 p.m. barefoot and wearing only a T-shirt and diaper. Outdoor temperatures were estimated at 95 degrees.
Breant and Brianne Daley were both charged with child endangerment. The Daleys confessed that they had left the child while he was sleeping to fill their car with gas and happened to drive around the neighborhood for two hours playing the location-based augmented reality game.
Pokemon Go has been hailed as a global phenomenon, but despite the game being downloaded more than 500 million times, it has been heavily criticized for being a public nuisance and contributing to accidents.
Worried neighbors had alerted authorities when the crying toddler attempted to get back inside the home, but could not open the door. Police officers had taken the two-year-old back into the unlocked residence and waited for his parents to arrive.
The Arizona Department of Child Safety has since taken the child from his parents.
[ Featured Image by Tulsa County Police Department]