NEW PORT RICHEY, Florida - A mother has been arrested after her child was found wandering in the street, naked and dirty, according to police.
Authorities have charged 41-year-old Kelly Gibbs with Child Neglect and Resisting Arrest Without Violence.
Robert Cassidy nearly hit the little boy as he was driving near the intersection of Hills Dr. and Massachusetts Ave. The 3-year-old was naked, dirty, and all alone. "Whose kid is it? Where are the parents? I was pretty upset," said Cassidy.
Cassidy said a number of vehicles swerved to miss the child and kept right on going.
The father of two, however, stopped.
"He was covered in feces, dirt, scratches. He looked like he was playing in, just, crap," said Cassidy.
Cassidy said he put the child in his car and called 911. "Couldn't even get an answer out of him. All he was doing is screaming and crying. Tried to ask him where his mom was. He didn't reply back, he just cried," he said.
New Port Richey police say they found out the boy lived in a nearby home along the 6900 block of Ian Court. According to authorities, his mother, 41-year-old Kelly Gibbs, was sleeping and did not even know the child was gone.
They add the inside of the apartment was not well-kept. "There were empty beer cans on the floor in there. The inside was dirty. There was spoiled food in the refrigerator, children's feces on the floor. It just really wasn't a condition for a child to be living in," said Officer Ed Campbell with the New Port Richey Police Department.
Next-door neighbor Tom Reading said the child is autistic and has been by himself downstairs several times before. He said since Gibbs' boyfriend died months ago, she just hasn't been the same. "You could tell she was just mentally drained. She was done," said Reading. "It's a shame 'cause he's a good little kid, you know. But, it's a shame."
Everyone, though, is just grateful the child was not hurt. And it may just be because of Cassidy. "I was just there at the right time, right place. I don't consider myself a hero," he said.
Police say the little boy was taken away by a Child Protection investigator. He will most likely be staying with family members, at least for now.