A man and woman from Alabama are both facing charges after sheriff’s deputies in Florida reportedly found an unresponsive and unattended 4-year-old child in a vehicle in Bay County on Wednesday.
Scott T. Hicks, 38, of Wetumpka, Alabama, was at the Bay County Courthouse in Panama City, Florida, Wednesday to resolve two outstanding arrest warrants for failure to appear for a pretrial conference, according to WSFA News.
Bay County officials say that Hicks appeared at the courthouse about 8:30 a.m. Around 10 a.m., while he was being booked and arranging for bond, Hicks reportedly told sheriff’s deputies that he had an 8-year-old child in the car waiting for him.
Deputies checked Hicks’ car and reportedly spotted a child’s legs sticking out from under a blanket in the back seat.
The child was 4 years old and was reportedly unresponsive with eyes open, blood on the lips, and a laceration on the head. Deputies said they also found a brown bag containing several handguns next to the child. Officials believe the child was alone in the car for about an hour and a half.
The child was taken to a nearby a hospital and reportedly found to have multiple bruising and what was described as “extreme bruising” to the groin, according to WSFA.
When questioned about the child, Hicks reportedly told deputies that the child wasn’t his.
His bond from the outstanding arrest warrants was revoked, and he was arrested and sent to Bay County Jail.
He has been charged with child neglect with serious injury, according to a release from the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.
By 2:30 p.m., the child’s mother, Halle Ann McLeod, 28, had arrived at the Bay County Courthouse to inquire about the status of Hicks’ bond and the condition of her child, according to WJHG News.
According to Bay County officials, their investigation indicated the child’s injuries were sustained while in Elmore County, Alabama.
McLeod was arrested Thursday in Elmore County, according to WSFA. She has been charged with aggravated child abuse.
McLeod is being held on $150,000 bond.
The child was placed in the custody of a family member, according to WJHG.
Photo credit: Bay County Sheriff’s Office via WJHG News