MANATEE — A baby sitter is facing criminal charges after a toddler left in her care was found riding a tricycle on business 14th Street West/U.S. 41.
Vilma Beti Nolasco, 38, of Ninth Street West, was arrested on a child neglect charge Tuesday after a motorist alerted sheriff’s deputies they saw the 4-year-old boy riding the tricycle on the road near 32nd Avenue West.
According to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, a witness said he was traveling north on 14th Street West at about 7:30 p.m. when he saw the toddler riding the tricycle on the middle lane of the street.
The witness told Deputy Jaime Rivera that he stopped behind the child and put his flashers on.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Other motorists also stopped behind the witness, according to the report.
The witness dialed 911 and then watched the toddler get off his tricycle and walk to a sidewalk near 34th Avenue West.
About 30 minutes later, the child’s mother drove to the scene and told the deputy that Nolasco had been baby-sitting.
When Rivera went to Nolasco’s home and asked her why the child was found alone along 14th Street West, Nolasco reportedly smiled and ignored the deputy.
Eventually, she told him that the toddler was in her house playing with her child and that he ran outside, the report states.
She said she thought the child was “running back to his house,” according to the report.
Deputies also wrote that Nolasco said she did not agree to baby-sit the toddler and that she appeared unconcerned with the child’s welfare.
She never asked if anything happened to the child, Rivera wrote in his two-page report.
Deputies then arrested her and took her to the Manatee County jail. A judge Wednesday released her on her own recognizance. Court records show Nolasco is scheduled to be arraigned May 1 before Circuit Judge Diana Moreland.