A Florida mother has been charged with child neglect after police say she left her toddler son in a running vehicle while swimming in the ocean to “meet sharks.”
Allison Daugherty, 41, was taken into custody after a deputy with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office was told by a witness that she parked her SUV in a spot near the pier, turned the radio all the way up and then jumped into the water to begin swimming around Bokeelia Fishing Pier on Monday morning.
About 20 minutes later, the passerby noticed a small boy about 2 years old crawling around in the vehicle that was left running with the air conditioning on, according to a booking sheet provided to Fox News Digital.
While on the phone with 911, the witness saw Daugherty begin to swim further away from the pier when Lee County Fire and emergency medical services responded.
A detective on scene first checked on the child, who did not appear to be in distress, prior to walking out to the pier as Daugherty swam further away.
The detective kept an eye on Daugherty with binoculars and the assistance of EMS for about 20 minutes before the Boca Grande Marine Unit arrived, made contact with her and brought her aboard their vessel.
Daugherty was brought to shore and detained.
A witness statement says Daugherty was swimming in the water where citizens were fishing and yelling at her that hooks and sharks were in the water. Daugherty allegedly yelled back that “she wanted to get hooked” and “would want to meet sharks.”
Daugherty apparently left the toddler alone in the car for about 44 minutes, LCSO states.
Daugherty remained in custody on one charge of child neglect or leaving an unattended child in a motor vehicle for an excess of 15 minutes as of Wednesday morning, according to The New York Post.
The publication says her bond has been set at $250, and she is due in court Oct. 2.