A Florida mom's 7 year old son Dominic was given permission to walk to the park by himself, but the day took a bizarre and serious turn when his mom ended up arrested over the decision. Nicole Gainey thought it would be fine for her son to walk about half a mile by himself to a park near their Port St. Lucie, Florida home, but the police apparently thought otherwise. 10 News shared the details on Monday.
Apparently as Dominic walked past a public pool, someone questioned him about where his mom was. After a few questions he got a bit scared and ran to the park. Soon the police pulled up after the person at the pool called them, and they took Dominic home. Then, they arrested Nicole Gainey and she is facing a felony charge of child neglect.
The Florida mom's 7-year-old has a cell phone with him at times like this and she believes he is mature enough to walk to the park by himself. The officer involved believed otherwise, nothing that “numerous sex offenders reside in the vicinity.” It seems the State's Attorney's Office confirms that there is no set law regarding how old a child needs to be to go to the park by themselves and things are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Nicole plans to fight the charge, and it would appear she has a lot of support on her side. Many would point out that many children Dominic's age and younger are expected to walk to and from school by themselves. It is hardly unusual to see kids at parks or other summer play areas without an adult right next to them, and it doesn't sound as if Dominic was misbehaving in any way.
As WPTV notes, Nicole Gainey admits she is “dumbfounded by this whole situation.” While most commenters online feel that the police went too far in this case, there are others who think that Gainey make a mistake and that Dominic is too young to be at the park by himself. Should the Florida mom's 7-year-old's trip to the park by himself lead to a felony child neglect charge?