Children wander near traffic; mother charged


Published: Friday, January 7, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 6, 2005 at 11:28 p.m.
A Gainesville mother was arrested and charged with child neglect Wednesday evening after she left her two 3-year-old girls unattended in a dirty apartment, Gainesville Police reported.
Tammara Nakisha Middleton, 20, of 3301 SW 13th St., left her children at home and went to work at about 4:45 p.m., a police report said. A witness told police that she saw the children about to run into oncoming traffic outside the Oak Forest apartment complex and had to stop her vehicle abruptly to avoid hitting them, the report said.
Witnesses contacted police about the roaming youngsters. A police report said that witnesses raised concern about the children wandering near a swamp where alligators are frequently seen. Inside their apartment, a police officer found food remains on the floor, a small children's bed without a mattress and several items that could cause injury to the children, the report said.
The Department of Children and Families took the two children into custody.
Middleton returned home at about 8:30 p.m., the report said.
Middleton told police she left the children with another adult, who she claimed was the children's father, the report said. When police contacted him, he said he had not been in Gainesville, the report said.
Middleton could not provide proof to the police that the children were left in the care of an adult, the report said.
Meredith Mandell can be reached at 338-3109 or mandelm@gvillesun.com.

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