Woman left grandson, 8, alone to do drugs, police say

Published: Monday, December 17, 2012 at 6:26 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 17, 2012 at 6:26 p.m.

A Gainesville grandmother was arrested for child neglect on Friday after police said she left her 8-year-old grandson alone while using drugs in the woods at night.

Linda Watson, 50, picked up her grandson around 3:30 p.m. on Friday, telling the boy’s mother that she would watch him at her home at 1600 NE 12th Ave., according to a Gainesville Police report.

Watson took the boy “scrapping,” looking for metal that can be redeemed at a recycling center, in the area around the 1100 block of SE 4th St., also called Tent City, the report states.

At around 6 p.m., Watson met up with a friend and walked away from the boy, police said. The boy was left unsupervised while Watson purchased $30 worth of crack cocaine from an unknown drug dealer, Watson later told police.

Watson walked into the woods, out of sight from her grandson, to use the drug.

At around 10 p.m., Watson emerged from the woods and was unable to find her grandson. Watson did not call law enforcement to locate the child. She later told police that she did not call police because she was ashamed. She told her daughter that she ran out of gas and let the boy catch a ride with an unknown person, police said.

A witness told police the boy yelled for his grandmother and walked into the woods to find her but was unsuccessful. The witness, who knows the family, walked the boy to the grandmother’s house, where he was located by police.

Watson was arrested at 10:30 p.m. on Friday on a charge of child neglect. GPD spokesman Ben Tobias said Watson will not be charged for possession of crack cocaine because no evidence of the drug was found while Watson was in custody.

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