Mom arrested for letting son go to park alone

(WPTV) - It all began last Saturday afternoon, Nicole Gainey gave her son, Dominic, permission to walk from their house to Sportsman Park.

"I honestly didn't think I was doing anything wrong, I was letting him go play," she explained.

It's a half-mile from their Port St. Lucie home.

Along the way, the 7-year-old passed a public pool. That is where someone asked him where his mom was.

"They asked me a couple questions and I got scared so I ran off to the park and then they called the cops," Dominic said.

Dominic was playing when Port St. Lucie Police pulled up. Police took him home and arrested his mom charging her with child neglect. Gainey says she was shocked.

"My own bondsman said my parents would have been in jail every day," she said.

The officer wrote in the report that Dominic was unsupervised at the park and that "numerous sex offenders reside in the vicinity." But Gainey says she believes Dominic is mature enough to go to the park alone during the day. She adds he always has a cell phone.

Gainey plans to fight the felony charge. But after this, she won't let Dominic go to the park alone, she's afraid she'll be arrested again.

The State's Attorney's Office says there is no law that says exactly how old a child has to be before they can go somewhere unsupervised. It's done on a case-by-case basis.



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