A Florida mother has been charged with child neglect for allegedly abandoning her 2-year-old son in a still-running vehicle to go swimming for nearly 45 minutes — all while claiming she wanted to “meet sharks.”
Allison Sarah Daughtery, 41, was taken into custody when authorities were alerted by a witness who saw her leave her son in a car while swimming off the Bokeelia fishing pier around 10:30 a.m. Monday, NBC 2 reported.
According to the witness, Daughtery – who is listed as transient on the arrest record – parked his car near the pier and turned on the radio before jumping into the water.
Twenty minutes later, the passerby noticed the little boy crawling around the vehicle, which was left running with the air conditioning on, they added.
A group of fishermen off the pier also allegedly shouted warnings to avoid their hooks — only for Daughterty to say “she wanted to get hooked” and “would like to encounter sharks,” the report said, noting that sharks are often seen in the waters.
When police arrived, she reportedly swam even further before being brought ashore in a rescue boat.
At that point, Daughtery had left the toddler alone in the car for about 44 minutes, FOX 4 said.
The photos showed Daughtery in a black bikini top and matching bottoms during her arrest. She was arrested by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) that afternoon, FOX 4 reported.
Her son — who staff at nearby Cap’tn Con’s restaurant said was still in diapers — reportedly ate lunch at the restaurant before being picked up by a relative, they told NBC 4.
“He was a lovely little boy, very well-behaved,” recalls staff member Jenny Wray.
“He sat and ate and watched TV as if oblivious to what was happening, thank God.”
Daughtery and her son had visited the restaurant at least three times in the week before her arrest, Wray added.
Each time, she noted, the mother behaved strangely.
“We called the sheriff’s office (Monday); she didn’t look drunk. She didn’t seem intoxicated,” she said. “Something was wrong.”
As of Wednesday morning, Daugherty remained in custody on a charge of child neglect or leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle for more than 15 minutes, according to the arrest record.
Her bond was set at $250 and she is due in court on October 2.
The LCSO did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
New York Post