LONDON, Ky. - The mother of a 16-day-old infant as well as the infant’s grandmother were arrested after police found the baby lying on the floorboard of a car in filthy conditions during a traffic stop, according to a post written by Laurel County Sheriff John Root on Facebook.
Root said Sgt. Greg Poynter along with Deputy Gary Mehler and his K-9 “Edge,” Deputy Travis Napier, Deputy Joey Robinson and Deputy Brent France arrested the mother, Rebeca Jean Fultz, 32, and grandmother, Charolotte J. Simpson, 69, on Thursday night just north of London, Kentucky.
The two women were driving in a vehicle when Poynter attempted to initiate a stop for traffic violations, but the vehicle failed to stop immediately and traveled an additional one-quarter mile before coming to a stop in a driveway, according to Root.
Upon making contact with the two individuals in the vehicle, deputies learned that they had outstanding bench warrants and arrested them both.
During the arrest, the passenger had to be removed from the vehicle after refusing to exit on her own. As deputies continued to investigate, one of the individuals told them that there was a baby inside the vehicle, but because the baby wasn’t in the child safety seat, deputies were not able to immediately locate the child, according to the Facebook post.
“Deputies located the 16-day-old infant on the floorboard between the two front seats with its head facing toward the center console creating a hazard for the infant and noted that the infant had labored breathing, with ants crawling on it, a soiled diaper, and noted no air conditioning in the vehicle,” Root wrote in the Facebook post.
Deputies also noted that the vehicle was littered with trash, including a flat-screen TV which was not secure and “could have easily been thrown about in the vehicle during a sudden stop,” according to Root.
When paramedics arrived, it was determined that the infant’s condition necessitated treatment at a hospital. Robinson, who had worked as a paramedic in the past, drove the ambulance to St. Joseph Hospital in London so that both of the attendants who had responded to the call could care for the infant en route.
According to Root, Fultz, who is the infant’s mother, was charged with first-degree criminal abuse of a child 12 or under, resisting arrest and menacing. Simpson, who is the infant’s grandmother and was the driver of the vehicle, was charged with first-degree criminal abuse of a child 12 or under, operating on suspended or revoked operator's license, failure to wear seat belts, failure of non-owner operator to maintain required insurance – first offense, no registration plates and no registration receipt.
Both individuals were taken to the Laurel County correctional center, and the infant, whose condition improved after being treated for dehydration at the hospital, will be placed with social services after being released from the hospital, according to the Facebook post.