A Florida man was arrested on July 15 for allegedly padlocking his 88-year-old mother inside her home while he went out to buy crack cocaine, The Gainesville Sun reported.
Bernard Hicks, 68, was arrested in Gainesville, Florida, on elderly neglect charges for the incident that reportedly began earlier that week.
According to a Gainesville Police Department arrest report, Hicks was first arrested on July 13 for a traffic violation. The arrest report stated that Hicks was pulled over for while riding a bicycle and failing to stop at a stop sign.
Reports say an officer witnessed Hicks put something into his mouth and noticed white residue on the 68-year-old’s hand.
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A field test on the residue that appeared to be remnants of drugs, led the GPD officer to believe the white residue to be that of crack cocaine, The Gainesville Sun reported. Hicks explained the substance to the officer as having come from him shaking another man’s hand before being pulled over.
Hicks was charged with possession of a controlled substance and tampering with evidence, according to the arrest report, and was taken to the Alachua County jail.
The following day, the Florida Department of Children and Families received report of an elderly woman locked in a home. The woman, who has dementia, was discovered by other family members at her home shortly after Hicks first arrest, a second arrest report stated.
On July 15, Hicks posted a $5,000 bond for his drug arrest but was back in jail later that day for the elder neglect charge.
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After his first release, Hicks spoke with GDP detectives at a DCF adult protection office, where he admitted to officers he had left his mother alone in the house, reports The Gainesville Sun. Reports and court records said Hicks told officers he left the elderly woman for 10 to 20 minutes so he could buy crack.
He was charged with neglecting an elderly disabled adult without great harm and booked into jail with a $25,000 bond.
Records show Hicks’ mother is now being cared for by her granddaughter, The Gainesville Sun reported.