Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Public safety

Pinellas school employee left two young children home alone overnight, authorities say

A school employee who works with the Lakewood High band in Pinellas County was arrested Monday on charges of child neglect after, officials say, he left two children unsupervised for more than 24 hours.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Joshua Ladrice Roundtree, 28, left his two children, ages 3 and 9, at home alone Sunday in Tampa to attend a noon work meeting for a job unrelated to the school.

After that meeting ended at 2 p.m., Roundtree went to a friend's house in the St. Petersburg area and spent the night, leaving the children unattended even longer, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.

Carter said Roundtree's 9-year-old activated an emergency alert bracelet that belongs to another family member. Sheriff's deputies and Hillsborough County Fire Rescue were on the scene when Roundtree arrived back at the home.

Roundtree was arrested Monday morning on two felony counts of child neglect and booked into the Hillsborough County jail about 4:30 p.m. He was released early Tuesday on $4,000 bail.

Pinellas schools spokeswoman Lisa Wolf said Roundtree works part time and is a contracted services employee with the district. She said he would most likely have been on campus only to assist with events such as band practices.

He will not return to the school pending the outcome of his court case, Wolf said.

Times news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Contact Colleen Wright at [email protected] or (727) 893-8643. Follow @Colleen_Wright.

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