Largo man charged with child abuse; police say he took son to drug deal

Published June 24, 2012

CLEARWATER — A woman was driving so fast and erratically in Clearwater on Friday night that someone called police to report it.

But it was her husband who ended up behind bars after police followed the woman's directions to the place she was rushing to get to — a home where she believed 31-year-old Shawn Zartman of Largo had gone to buy drugs with the couple's 8-month-old son in tow.

Sure enough, when police arrived at 1134 Engman St. they found Zartman's car parked with the child locked in the back seat. The car was off, which meant no air conditioning for the boy.

Zartman was inside trying to buy crack, police said.

Police called Clearwater Fire Rescue to check on the child, who turned out to be fine and was returned to his mother.

Zartman went to jail on a child abuse charge. He happened to also be wanted by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office on a domestic battery charge.

Kim Wilmath can be reached at or (813) 226-3337.