NEW PORT RICHEY – The mother of an unsupervised 3-year-old boy who crossed five busy lanes of U.S. 19 Sunday night was charged with child neglect, police said.
Around 7:15 p.m., about a half-hour before sunset, he walked across three northbound lanes, over the median and into the middle southbound lanes, causing drivers to skid across the road to avoid hitting him. A driver who stopped brought the boy back to the motel.
The man Ortiz trusted with her son had fled by the time police arrived, an arrest report states. Ortiz, a New Jersey native living in New Port Richey, gave four different names for the man and was listed as "very uncooperative" during her arrest.
She remains in jail today on $2,000 bond.
Drew Harwell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6244.