BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – A 25-year-old woman was arrested Monday after her young son left their apartment on his own, authorities said.
Boynton Beach said the boy was found wandering around on Congress Avenue near Gateway Boulevard.
According to an arrest report, a witness who called 911 was driving south on Congress Avenue when she saw the toddler in the middle of the street in the southbound center lane.
Police said the child was crossing the street eastbound and there were no adults nearby.
Authorities said officers went door-to-door in the area trying to find his parents or caregiver and were eventually approached by the child's mother, 25-year-old Nancy Ineus.
According to her arrest report, Ineus said she works from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and has three children, ages 5, 2, and 8 months.
Police said Ineus said she took a nap around 11 a.m. and woke up around 2 p.m.
She said her eldest son was dropped off at home from school by her brother a short time later and she didn't notice that one of her other children were missing until the boy started crying because he couldn't find his brother.
Authorities said Ineus claimed to have looked for her son inside the apartment and then saw police in the parking lot when she went outside and spotted her son in the back seat of a patrol car.
Police said Ineus admitted that this was not the first time her son escaped from the apartment, the last time being two weeks ago.
Officers noted there was a security latch above the door, but it was broken. Ineus said her husband was supposed to fix it but never did, the report stated.
Ineus was ultimately arrested on a child neglect charge.
Police said the Florida Department of Children and Families was notified about the incident.