PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – Nicole Gainey was arrested on charges of child neglect after she allowed her 7-year-old son to walk to the park by himself.

“I’m totally dumbfounded by this whole situation,” Gainey told WPTV-TV.

Gainey feels her son is old enough but the police disagree.

“Honestly I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong,” Gainey said. “I was letting him go play.”

The park is about a half mile from the home.  Dominic Guerrisi says it takes him about 10 to 15 minutes.

On his way to the park people were wondering where Dominic’s mother was.  “They asked me a couple questions and I got scared so I ran off to the park and they called the cops,” Guerrisi said.

Police gave Dominic a ride back home and that was when his mother was arrested.

“My own bondsman said my parents would have been in jail every day,” Gainey, who needed $4,000 to bond out, said.

According to the police report, numerous sex offenders reside in the vicinity of the park. “He just basically kept going over that there’s pedophiles and this and that and basically the park wasn’t safe and he shouldn’t be there alone,” Gainey said of the police officer.

There is no law in St. Lucie County that specifies how old a child must be before being unsupervised.

According to Gainey, and official from the Florida Department of Children and Families told her to expect the case to be dropped.


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