A 22-year-old Atlanta mother is accused of leaving her two children alone in an apartment without electricity while she went to a cousin’s home to charge her cellphone.
A security officer told Atlanta police he was making his rounds Tuesday night at apartments on Confederate Court when he noticed a back door open, according to the incident report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. When he went inside, he found two children alone inside the darkened apartment and called police, stating that the children had been alone about two hours.
“The apartment was completely blacked out due to not having electricity,” the police report said. “As I walked to the rear of the apartment I noticed dog feces in one bedroom.”
Two children, ages 6 and 2, were in the other bedroom, according to police. A pit bull was also in the apartment.
An hour later, the children’s mother, Shantonia Heard, arrived back at the apartment, police said.
Heard told police she went to her cousin’s house to charge her cellphone since her power was cut off, the report said.
She was arrested and initially charged with cruelty to children. Her children were placed in child protective services custody, and the dog was placed in the care of Fulton County Animal Control, police said.
At a court appearance Wednesday, Heard’s charge was reduced to reckless conduct, a misdemeanor, and she was granted a $5,000 signature bond, a spokeswoman for the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office said. Her next court date is Nov. 14.