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Mother who fled with son to prevent circumcision arrested

Heather Hironimus arrested in Broward County

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A South Florida woman who fled with her son while fighting to prevent his circumcision has been arrested.

Heather Hironimus was arrested Thursday in Deerfield Beach, Broward County jail records show.

In March, Palm Beach County Judge Jeffrey Gillen issued a warrant for her arrest after she failed to appear in court with her 4-year-old son.

Hironimus' attorney, Thomas Hunker, told Local 10 News that his client had checked into a domestic violence shelter with the boy.

"They sought refuge in a domestic violence crisis shelter and they're receiving help there," Hunker said after the warrant was issued.

Court documents show that Hironimus and the boy's father, Dennis Nebus, had a son together on Oct. 31, 2010. Although they never married, the couple is considered the legal and biological parents of the boy.

Hironimus and Nebus agreed to a circumcision in a 2012 legal document, but Hironimus later changed her mind and fought to prevent the boy's circumcision. Circuit and appellate judges have sided with the father.

Prior to her arrest, Hironimus' attorney filed an injunction in federal court to prevent the circumcision.

"He absolutely doesn't want it done," Tara Shipley, with the group South Florida Inactivists Unite, said. "Like any 4-year-old boy, he knows what is normal for his body, he's very attached to it and he's terrified of the procedure."

It wasn't immediately known how Hironimus was found or where she was staying, but Shipley defended the shelter's decision to take her in.

"They looked at her history," Shipley said. "They looked at the parenting agreement. They looked at some of Dennis' previous criminal history and they decided that she was a good candidate for the program."

With his mother in jail, the boy is believed to be in his father's care. Local 10 News reporter Todd Tongen knocked on Nebus' door, but nobody answered. A short time later, Nebus left the home without commenting.

Hironimus was being held in the main Broward County jail. She will likely be brought to Palm Beach County to face a charge of custody interference.

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