[PHOTO CREDIT: Marilyn M. Aciego]
[Original Publish Date: 11/21/19]
(Have news tips for LLN?… 352Tips@gmail.com.)
UMATILLA, Florida — A Umatilla mother took a gamble on her freedom and lost after she was arrested Tuesday for child neglect.
A Lake County sheriff’s deputy responded to Treasures of Hope, 37826 State Road 19, Umatilla, in reference to a child being left alone in a vehicle. When the deputy arrived on scene, a witness told him she saw an infant crying alone in the backseat of an unlocked vehicle, according to an arrest affidavit. She told the deputy she waited about 10 minutes and after no one came back, she opened the door and removed the baby in an effort to console her.
The witness said she cared for the baby for about 15 to 20 minutes before Michelle Puma, of Umatilla, finally came out to check on the baby, about 30 seconds before the deputy arrived.
Puma, 39, told the deputy she was behind on finances, so she went inside the game lounge to win some money. She went on to say the infant was sleeping when she arrived and she, “took the gamble on leaving the child in the vehicle with the windows cracked while she tried to go win money,” the affidavit states.
Puma was charged with child neglect. She was released from the Lake County Jail on $5,000 bond.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. In addition, she has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]