Angela Pond and Esharia Pond, a Hallandale Beach, Florida mother and daughter, were arrested Friday after they allegedly left their five children alone in a running vehicle while they gambled at a casino, news sources report. 37-year-old Angela and her 21-year-old daughter Esharia were reportedly booked into the Broward County Main Jail on five counts of child neglect. A county judge set each of their bails at $5,000. It is not clear whether the duo has hired criminal defense lawyers.
According to reports, two of the children in the car were Angela’s and three were Esharia’s. The children range in age from one to eleven years, sources say. It is not clear whether they have any guardians other than their mothers. Angela’s mother (Esharia’s grandmother) reportedly collected the children after the arrests.
The incident occurred Friday evening at the Gulfstream Casino in Hallandale Beach, reports say. Angela and Esharia reportedly loaded the five children into a car and drove to the casino. The pair left the five kids in the car with the engine running, sources allege, and entered the casino themselves.
A surveillance camera reportedly shows the children were alone in the vehicle for about a half an hour before they were discovered by a casino security officer. Based on reports, police responded to the scene and arrested Angela and Esharia. It is not clear how the officers discovered that the pair was responsible for the children. The children do not appear to have been harmed during the alleged incident.
Hundreds of parents are arrested each year on child neglect charges in the United States. South Florida sees these cases on a weekly basis. Oftentimes, the charges stem from a parent leaving a child home alone, though this is not always the case. Earlier this week, Ocala mother Philomena Melton was arrested after she was accused of consuming synthetic weed and taking a nap inside her van with her 21-month-old daughter in the back seat, sources report. Melton, 23, was booked into the Marion County Jail on charges of possession of synthetic marijuana and child neglect. Her bail was set at $5,250. It is unclear whether she obtained legal representation.
Reports say the incident happened Wednesday in the parking lot of the Kangaroo Express on Southwest College Road in Ocala. Melton allegedly had some synthetic marijuana before she fell asleep in her van; the driver’s side door was ajar and her baby was in the back seat, sources say. Unlike traditional cannabis, which comes directly from a plant with not additives, synthetic cannabis contains no actual marijuana. Instead, it is made using chemicals.
An employee at the express mart saw Melton and called police, sources say. An officer arrived to the scene and discovered Melton, still asleep, and her daughter inside the van. On Melton’s lap was the bag of synthetic cannabis, reports say. The officer woke Melton, who quickly shoved the drug into her bag, sources say. The child’s father took custody of the baby after Melton’s arrest, sources say.