Hazel ParkDecember 05, 2012
Mother leaves child at home while partying all night
5-year-old wandered a half-mile to father’s house
By Andy Kozlowski
C & G Staff Writer
HAZEL PARK — A 25-year-old Hazel Park resident is facing child abuse charges after she partied all night while leaving her 5-year-old son at home until the next day.
The woman, Amanda Thomas, was arraigned before Magistrate James Paterson in Hazel Park 43rd District Court Wednesday, Nov. 14, on charges of fourth-degree child abuse, a state misdemeanor punishable by up to one year.
She was jailed on $10,000 cash bond or surety. She is also not allowed to contact her child, nor use of drugs or alcohol.
At her Tuesday, Nov. 20 pretrial hearing, Thomas pled guilty and was released on a personal bond. Her sentencing date was set for Jan. 22.
The incident occurred Sunday, Nov. 11. Police believe Thomas left her home in the 300 block of East Harry around 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, while the boy was sleeping.
The boy woke up alone and wandered a half-mile to his father’s house in the 200 block of West Robert, arriving there around 8:30 a.m.
“He seemed OK,” observed Hazel Park Police Lt. Brian Buchholz. “In fact, I would guess he’s probably experienced some similar things before. He’s way too independent for his age.”
The father went to the police department to file a report.
“He was upset. He didn’t believe anything like this would happen,” Buchholz said. “He was initially concerned something had happened to the mother, since we couldn’t get ahold of her by the telephone and she wasn’t at home.”
Officers went to the Thomas residence and found the door still open with nobody inside. The mother returned around 10:30 a.m., while police were still investigating the property. She was taken into custody and interviewed back at the department.
“She really didn’t have a whole lot of concern for the child, and didn’t want to talk to us,” Buchholz said.
Police learned she had been drinking at Augie’s Bar and Grill in Madison Heights and then attended a house party in Hazel Park. The case continued, and charges were finalized with the prosecutor’s office.
Investigations continue with Oakland County Child Protective Services. In the meantime, the boy remains in the care of his father and grandparents.
“Hopefully, the child is young enough that he can recover from whatever neglect he’s experienced in his life,” Buchholz said. “That’s our main concern. I feel very sorry for the 5-year-old; he’s the true victim in this, and if at some point she’s going to be in his life again, hopefully she’s learned from this.”