What started out as a burglary case ended up being a child abuse case, The Arizona Republic reports.
Police responded to a Chandler home on Tuesday about a possible burglary. They found 26-year-old Tyler Jeffrey Dotson at the location. While Dotson was cleared of any involvement in the burglary, he was hauled in for a different kind of offense: Dotson reportedly left his three-month-old baby home alone for at least an hour and a half, according to authorities.
On Tuesday morning, officers received a call about a burglary in progress at a home near Alma School Road and Chandler Boulevard. Dotson reportedly matched the description, but wasn’t actually involved in the burglary.
However, authorities reportedly found some heroin on Dotson and arrested him for possession. At that point, Dotson told police that he had left his infant son home alone at his apartment.
Officers visited the apartment and found the front door unlocked, according to authorities. They changed the 3-month-old boy’s diaper and fed him before contacting the boy’s mother, who picked him up. They also reported the incident to Child Protective Services.
Now, on top of the drug charges, Dotson is facing a child abuse charge. Under Arizona law, child abuse encompasses a broad range of abusive behavior, outside of just physical abuse. A parent, guardian, or caretaker who fails to provide adequate supervision or neglects a child to the point that the child’s health is put in danger can be convicted of child abuse.
Dotson’s alleged abuse was probably more negligent than intentional, so he’ll likely be charged with a class 4 felony. If convicted, he could face up to eight years in prison. He probably wishes he sprung for a babysitter.
- Chandler Dad Arrested for Leaving 3-Month-Old Alone in Apartment (AZfamily.com)
- Child Abuse Law (FindLaw)
- Do’s and Don’ts: False Allegations of Child Abuse (FindLaw)
- Sun City Mom Sentenced in Meth Lab Case (FindLaw’s Phoenix Family Law Blog)