WESTPORT, Conn. – The arrest of a Westport mom who was charged with risk of injury to a child after her 2-year-old daughter was found walking in the street has sparked controversy around town.
Police said 43-year-old Tinatin Crouch left her 2-year-old and 15-year-old home Saturday to go shopping. The 2-year-old was sleeping when Crouch left but apparently woke up and wandered out of the home wearing slippers, pajama pants and a long-sleeve shirt while the older sibling was asleep, police have said.
The child was spotted walking in the street by a neighbor, who called police and took the child in until police arrived. The neighbor did not know where the child lived, police Capt. Sam Arciola said.
The case has many wondering why Crouch was charged, because the 2-year-old had been left at home with a 15-year-old sibling.
“I do not see any error nor any crime," one reader of The Westport Daily Voice commented.
Crouch was charged because her 15-year-old son was also sleeping when she left to go to the store, police said.
“The 15-year-old son was sick, so she [Crouch] told him to go to sleep and that their father would be home before the baby woke up,” Arciola said, citing the police report.
“The mom left knowing the 15-year-old was asleep and sick,” Arciola said. “If there was a person responsible for that child’s welfare, it was her, not the son.”
According to the police report, the son went to sleep at about 3 p.m., and Crouch left to go grocery shopping at about 3:45 p.m. At about 4:30 p.m., police were called to Murvon Court on a report that a child was wandering in the street.
The neighbor who spotted the child said the girl was screaming and crying for her mother as she walked in the road, the police report said.
“When our officers are making a decision, in any case, they evaluate the totality of the situation,” Arciola said. "This is an unfortunate incident and we all wish this didn’t happen, but the important thing is that the child was not harmed.”
Crouch could not be reached for comment Wednesday.