Mother charged in neglect of toddler

COVINGTON - A 24-year-old mother has been charged with child cruelty in the first degree after her toddler was found in the middle of a street, 2/10 of a mile from home, according to an incident report completed by Covington Police Officer Doug Allen.

Allen said in his report that while he was patrolling in the area of West and Fowler streets, he observed a small child walking down the middle of West Street in the direction of Fowler Street.

"The child appeared to be approximately 3 to 4 years old and was walking all alone," the report stated.

Allen said he stopped and asked the child where he lived and he pointed in the direction of Carrol Street. He placed the child in his patrol car and the boy directed him to 4232 Carroll St.

"I noticed other small children at the residence and asked to speak with the mother," the officer said. "Keytawanna Horton emerged from the bedroom and appeared to have just woken from a sleep."

Allen said he asked the woman if she knew where her child was and she stated that she did not know because she had been sleeping.

Allen went on to say in his report that approximately two weeks previously he had spoken with Horton about her children playing in the street unsupervised.

This time, she was told to find someone to watch her children and she was arrested and taken to the Newton County Detention Center.

In other crime news, a 12-year-old boy was taken into custody at Wal-Mart Saturday after an officer observed the butt of a BB pistol sticking out of his shorts.

The officer had originally been summoned to the store by the boy's mother who said her son had run away from home and she had found him at Wal-Mart and he was being unruly.

The officer then saw the gun and took it away from the child, realizing it was an identical copy of a real weapon.

He checked on the status of the juvenile and found that he was already on probation. He was taken to a Youth Detention Center in Sandersville and charged with carrying a weapon in a public gathering.

CPD Detective Daniel Seals said the charge was appropriate even for a facsimile weapon, and especially given the age and background of the boy who was carrying the gun. He said violation of probation charges were expected to be filed, as well.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.