Alabama attorney Nikki Patterson plans to press charges after a viral video that appears to show child endangerment surfaced (video below).
The video was reportedly taken in Theodore, Alabama, according to WPMI. In the video, a mother is convulsing while seemingly on drugs as her baby sits nearby, crying. The video has been viewed repeatedly on Facebook, with many commenters calling on law enforcement to step in.
On Feb. 29, Mobile County Sheriff's Office arrested the mother, Lauren Englett, reported WPMI.
Patterson noted that the Department of Human Resources was made aware of the video in December 2015. At the time, the 20-month-old boy had been taken away from his mother and placed in the care of a family member. It was later discovered the mother was still in contact with her child.
On Feb. 26, WPMI said the child had been taken from family members and put in protective custody.
The boy’s paternal grandmother, Tina Hanke, noted that she reported the video to DHR months ago and has been fighting to have temporary custody of her grandson.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Hanke told WPMI. “Half of the time I don’t even know if he’s safe. We don’t know anything.”
Hanke noted that her son’s name isn’t on her grandson’s birth certificate, which is why it has been difficult to get custody of him.
“The video is the only hard evidence we have,” Hanke said. “I want her to be a good mom. I want her to go to rehab and get help. I pray for her.”
According to WHNT, the direct cost of child abuse to the state of Alabama is around $2.3 billion annually.