Florida boy found alone after mother ‘left him to get marijuana’

Teacher is arrested after she left four-year-old boy to wander into the street while she went to buy marijuana

A Florida elementary school teacher left a 4-year-old child alone while she went to buy marijuana, the authorities have said.  

A Polk County Sheriff’s Office statement said that 26-year old Marsha Dolce was arrested Saturday and charged with child neglect and marijuana possession.

Deputies responded to a Davenport apartment complex Saturday morning and found a 4-year-old child crying outside wearing only a T-shirt and underwear. 

Marsha Dolce faces charges of negligent child abuse, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia

Marsha Dolce faces charges of negligent child abuse, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia

Dolce, who teaches fourth grade at Laurel Elementary in Poinciana, eventually returned home and told deputies she had left to help a friend with car troubles.

Deputies reported finding marijuana in Dolce’s home, and text messages on her phone indicated that she had gone to nearby Winter Haven hours earlier to buy the drug.  

Confronted with the messages, Dolce admitted her story about the friend with car troubles was a lie, officials were quoted by orlandosentinel.com as saying.  

She said she wanted to get some marijuana and felt she could go to Winter Haven to meet a man she knew who had some, as the 4-year-old was sleeping at the time.

She told deputies she went to Winter Haven early Saturday, brought the man back to her home, then later took him back to Winter Haven, according to the statement. 

She had no prior criminal history and had been employed as a fourth-grade teacher in Polk County for about three months, officials said.

The child has been removed from Dolce’s care, the Sheriff’s Office said.

‘This is not what we expect from a person in a position of public trust,’ Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. 

‘To think about this poor scared child crying in the street, not knowing where mom was – it is just a shame and should not have happened.’

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