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Florida Mother Arrested for Leaving Toddler in Running Car to Swim and “Meet Sharks”

Florida Mother Arrested Toddler Running Car Alone
Allison Daugherty pictured moments before she was arrested off a Florida pier on Monday. WBBH-TV

A Florida mother, Allison Sarah Daughtery, 41, faces child neglect charges after allegedly leaving her 2-year-old son unattended in a running car to swim for about 45 minutes. During her swim, she expressed a bizarre desire to “meet sharks.”

A witness reported the incident that took place around 10:30 a.m. Monday near the Bokeelia Fishing Pier, as per NBC 2. Daughtery, who’s described as transient in the arrest records, reportedly parked her vehicle, turned up the radio, and dived into the water.

After approximately 20 minutes, the boy, still in the running car with the air conditioning on, was seen moving about by a passerby. Fishermen at the pier purportedly shouted out cautions due to their hooks, to which Daughtery responded she wished to be caught by them and meet the often-spotted sharks in the area.

Responding deputies found Daughtery swimming further into the waters and subsequently brought her to shore via a rescue boat. FOX 4 reported that the child was left alone for around 44 minutes by that time.

Upon her arrest, photographs captured Daughtery in a black bikini. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) booked her that afternoon. Meanwhile, the toddler, still in diapers, was taken to Cap’tn Con’s restaurant nearby. An employee, Jenny Wray, mentioned the child appeared well-behaved and unaware of the incident. She also noted Daughtery and her son had been to the restaurant three times in the past week, with Daughtery’s behavior seeming increasingly strange.

Wray said, “We called the sheriff’s office [on Monday]; she didn’t seem drunk. She didn’t seem intoxicated. Something was just off.”

Daughtery remains detained on child neglect charges as of Wednesday, with her bond set at $250. She awaits a court hearing scheduled for October 2. The LCSO has yet to comment on the matter.

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