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‘Something Was Just Off’: Cops Say Florida Mom Left Son Alone in Running Car to Go Swimming and ‘Meet Sharks’

Florida Woman Accused of Leaving Son in Car to Go Swimming with Sharks
Source: Lee County Sheriff’s Office; Unsplash

Florida woman left son in car unattended so she could go for a swim.

Sep. 13 2023, Published 4:04 p.m. ET

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A Florida mother has been arrested after she reportedly left her 2-year-old son unattended in a running vehicle for nearly 45 minutes, all while expressing a desire to "meet sharks" while swimming in the ocean, according to authorities.

Around 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 11, officers say 41-year-old Allison Sarak Daugherty parked her car near Bokeelia Fishing Pier, cranked up the volume of the radio and the air conditioning, and then jumped into the water, WBBH reported.

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Daugherty also left her 2-year-old son, who was still in diapers, crawling around in the car unattended, officials said.

People who were fishing at the pier shouted at Daugherty, saying their hooks and sharks were in the water. Daugherty reportedly yelled back that she didn’t care about the hooks and “she wanted to get hooked” and “she would want to meet sharks,” authorities said.

Officers arrived after Daugherty had been in the water for about 20 minutes. She then swam further from the shore once she saw police. A Boca Grande Marine Unit was able to bring her back to shore, WBBH reported.

Staff at Capt'n Con’s Fish House, which is across the street from the pier, talked with WBBH, saying the woman and the boy had been at the restaurant three times in the past week.

Child neglect
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Staff member Jenny Wray said, “We called the sheriff’s office [on Monday]; she didn’t seem drunk. She didn’t seem intoxicated. Something was just off.”

Daugherty was arrested and charged with one count of child neglect, authorities said.

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Her bond was set at $250 and she is due at a court hearing on Oct. 2.

After Daugherty was arrested, Wray said they fed the little boy lunch while they waited for a family member to come pick him up.


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