Man charged with child neglect, open container violation

MANATEE -- A man who was found passed out with a open, half-consumed cold beer and a 17-month-old toddler next to him in a stroller has been arrested, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said the man was obviously intoxicated and the toddler was left without supervision about 3:45 p.m. Saturday in the 5200 block of 26th St. W., Bradenton.

The toddler was nude and was attempting to drink from an empty cup. When the defendant was awakened he could not provide any information on the mother. He then became aggressive and agitated because he felt he did nothing wrong and tried to start pushing the stroller away from deputies, according to the report.

He was taken into custody initially on a violation of county ordinance for having an open container of alcohol within 300 feet of an establishment that sells alcohol. The defendant resisted attempts to take him into custody. Once the investigation was complete it was determined that he was left to watch the toddler that morning by the mother, which made him the caretaker, the report said.

Peter A. Lavalle, 59, was additionally charged with child neglect after it was determined he failed to provide supervision, food and clothing for the toddler. The toddler was unsupervised within 50 feet of an intersection in a stroller equipped with a belt to restrain the toddler in the seat, but the strap was not being used. This could have been a dangerous situation for the toddler had it got out of the stroller and walked towards the roadway, the report said.