Jesus Martinez, a 27-year-old Holiday, Florida, man now faces a charge of child neglect after he was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on Sunday — an arrest prompted by the discovery of a 2-year-old toddler, for whom Martinez was supposed to be caring, alone in the street, according to a report by WTSP TV News in Tampa, Florida.
But while losing track of a toddler may appear bad enough, the reason that Martinez gave the deputies made the case even more strange — and shocking. Martinez said that simply lost track of the little girl as he was completing his fantasy football draft on his smartphone, according to a report by the Tampa Bay TV station WFLA.
In fact, Martinez reportedly admitted, he did not even realize that the 2-year-old had gone missing for at least an hour after the toddler wandered out of the residence on her own. He finally figured out what was going on when another child in his care, a 6-year-old, noticed that the younger girl was missing and informed the caretaker.
The exact relationship between Martinez and the two children was not made clear in statements issued by the Pasco County County Sheriff’s Office, except to say that the man was their “caretaker.”
According to the sheriff’s office statement, the little girl was discovered by a passer-by at the corner of Orange Drive and Kibler Lane in Holiday, a suburb of Tampa with a population of approximately 22,000. The toddler was clad only in a diaper, which was soiled. The passer-by took care of the child and even changed the girl’s dirty diaper and re-dressed the toddler in clean clothes before the deputies showed up.
It then took investigators about an hour more to track down Martinez, who was placed under arrest. Fortunately, the little girl was not harmed in the incident, despite wandering a distance investigators said was about 1,000 feet from the front door of her home, where Martinez sat playing fantasy football.
For more details on the arrest of fantasy football player Jesus Martinez, view the following video news report by WFTS TV in Tampa Bay.
Reporters for WFTS interviewed Halleigh Wears, 14, and said that she and her family first discovered the lost child.
“What was going through my head was how does somebody lose their baby,” the teen told the TV station. “After a little while, a lady in a red truck came. She didn’t speak much English. She gave us a new diaper and wipes and clothes and stuff ’cause (the toddler) was wearing nothing.”
Martinez was arrested on a charge of child neglect and transported to Land O’ Lakes Jail in Pasco County.
[Featured Image by Pasco County Sheriff’s Office Facebook]