Leonica Patricia Sears of Boynton Beach, Florida was arrested on DUI and child neglect charges on March 30 after someone reportedly saw her behind the wheel of a parked, running SUV in a supermarket parking lot. She reportedly had four children with her in the vehicle.
The passerby took it upon themselves to inspect Sears’ vehicle after allegedly seeing the kids jumping out of the sunroof to play around the parking lot. They called the police for help. Sears was arrested and faces charges for DUI, driving with a suspended license, and child neglect. She was booked into Palm Beach County jail and was later released after posting a $5,000 bond. News sources did not name a lawyer for Sears.
According to the arrest report, the incident took place in the parking lot of a Publix supermarket in Boynton beach after 7 p.m. Witnesses reportedly became concerned after seeing children jumping out of an Acura SUV. One witness reportedly chased after the kids around the parking lot to prevent them from getting run over by other vehicles. Another witness told the police that Sears appeared to be drinking from a “large wine jug.”
Police officers who arrested Sears described her as having a strong odor of alcohol on her breath, bloodshot eyes, and she was reportedly swaying when she got out of the vehicle. She began crying and purportedly told the police that she had been in the parking lot for two hours.
Police found a half-full, 3-liter jug of sangria on the seat next to Sears. They asked her to perform a series of field sobriety tests, but she reportedly refused. Sears later consented to a blood alcohol test after she was taken to the Boynton Beach Police Department. Her reading was .358, which is more than four times the 0.8 legal limit for the state of Florida.
Workers from the Department of Children and Families (DCF) were called to take the four kids with Sears to her relatives, police documents show. Her relationship with the four children is still unclear.
Another case involving child neglect was reported this week. Christine Arguelles of Coconut Creek, Florida was arrested after her teenage daughter and a friend reportedly took marijuana-laced gummy bears to Lyons Creek Middle School. Arguelles, 33, is being charged with two counts of child neglect, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and possession of THC with intent to sell. One additional count of child neglect was added because she also has an 8-year-old son.
According to the arrest report, Arguelles’ 14-year-old daughter and her 13-year-old friend were allegedly caught selling THC-laced candies at their school on March 25. When police searched Arguelles’ daughter, they reportedly found more than a dozen small bags of gummies in her backpack, which she and her friend allegedly sold for $10 each.
Arguelles was arrested two days later when Horace Hamm, Lyons Creek Middle School’s principal, overheard her yelling at her daughter because she “messed everything up” during a visit to her home. Police searched Arguelles home and found 86 baggies of THC-laced candies in the refrigerator.