Mom Leaves 2-year-old in Vehicle Outside Dollar General, Flees Police
A Sunday, December 3, shopping trip to Dollar General in Gulfport resulted in a 23-year-old St. Petersburg mother being arrested on multiple charges including child abuse and fleeing in a vehicle to elude a police officer.
Micela Jenay Bonds parked in a handicapped space without a placard then went into the store located at 4900 17th Avenue S., leaving her 2-year-old daughter in the passenger seat without adult supervision, according to Gulfport police records.
Officer Michael Rossi “observed one child standing on the front passenger seat” and when he ran the tag, law enforcement records showed the vehicle owner had a suspended driver’s license for “failure to pay traffic fines.”
At this point, he entered the store “in an attempt to make contact with the driver,” said Sergeant Thomas Woodman, public information officer for the Gulfport Police Department. When Bonds heard the page over the store speakers, she left the store leaving Rossi at the front counter, according to court records.
Then, Rossi met her at her vehicle and “through an open window told her to stop several times,” said Woodman.
After being ordered to stop, “she said, ‘OK,’” said Rossi in court records but then she “drove out of the parking lot and onto 17th Avenue South.”
Next, Rossi followed her for “three to four blocks” that included “two alleyways” and then he stopped following the vehicle, said Woodman. As a result, Bonds got away but only temporarily.
A short time later on the same day, Rossi located Bonds at her home and arrested her on three charges.
Bonds faces two felony counts of child abuse and fleeing in a vehicle to elude a police officer. She also faces a misdemeanor charge of driving while her license is suspended. Additionally, she was issued three citations. Two relate to the charges and one is for parking in a handicap space without a placard.
After her arrest on Sunday, she bonded out on $10,250 pending prosecution determination by the state attorney’s office.
“I’m not aware of many cases in Gulfport where a child has been left behind in a vehicle,” said Woodman. “This is unusual.”
A sampling of police reports from November 24 through November 29 in Gulfport.
Source: Gulfport Police Department
11/24 – Burglary of a vehicle in the 5600 block of 21st Avenue South. Sometime overnight, someone punched the driver’s door lock and made entry to a vehicle. However, nothing was taken.
11/25 – Criminal mischief in the 5600 block of 11th Avenue South. A person reported that he was a motorist driving through the city the night before when something struck his driver door, leaving a small dent. The complainant believed it was a BB shot at him from an airgun but the actual projectile could not be located or identified.
11/25 – Burglary of a residence in the 1200 block of Freemont Street South. A person made entry through an unlocked door into a garage attached to a residence and stole a speaker valued at $350.
11/26 – Criminal traffic stop in the 2000 block of 49th Street South. Officer Priest stopped a motorcyclist because there was no license plate displayed on the bike. It turned out that the motorcycle wasn’t registered and the rider, Joel Dodd, had no driver’s license. He was given a notice to appear in court for the criminal traffic violation and the motorcycle was impounded.
11/26 – Theft in the 5000 block of Jersey Avenue South. A resident reported that his laptop was stolen. He suspected one of his family members took the laptop since no one else would have had access to it.
11/26 – Burglary to a residence in the 4900 block of Newton Avenue South. Dennis Schiffler was seen entering the fenced yard of an occupied house and stealing a potted plant. He was stopped down the street and confronted with video surveillance footage from the victim’s cameras. This led to him admitting to stealing the plant and showing officers where he subsequently stashed it. Schiffler was charged with burglary to a dwelling.
11/26 – Warrant arrest in the 4900 block of 31st Avenue South. Officer Carter saw a man walking outside a residence. Officer Carter recognized him as a person who has an outstanding warrant. Officer Carter made contact with John Kukor and took him into custody for the outstanding warrant. The outstanding warrant was for worthless checks.
11/26 – Violation of probation in the 5600 block of Shore Boulevard. Officers were dispatched to a suspicious vehicle in the beach parking lot. The call notes indicated that the windows were fogged up and it appeared that the occupants might be having sex. Contact was made with both occupants. One was a juvenile male was found to be on felony probation which stipulates a 7 p.m. curfew. Given the fact it was after 9 p.m., the juvenile was arrested and transported to the Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center.
11/26 – Follow up in the 1000 block of 49th Street South. Officer Ross stopped a juvenile matching the description of a suspect who stole an electric scooter from a carport in the Beachway Mobile Home Park on November 21st. The juvenile was positively identified as the thief as he matched the images from surveillance footage that was collected as evidence. Officer Ross also recognized that the juvenile matched a bulletin from the St Petersburg Police Department involving a stolen motor scooter. Officer Ross contacted the St. Petersburg Police Department and officers responded who positively identified the juvenile as the suspect in their case. The juvenile was charged with grand theft auto, grand theft and burglary.
11/28 – Disturbance in the 5200 block of 14th Avenue South. Officers responded in reference to several people who were having a verbal altercation over money and property. The agitator of the group fled the area prior to officers’ arrival. There was an allegation of physical contact but it was determined that the person had to use force in order to leave the house.
11/29 – Theft in the 3000 block of Beach Boulevard. Employees at Forever Florida Real Estate arrived in the morning and discovered that someone had stolen 50 feet of red LED tube lights.
11/29 – Theft in the 1800 block of 52nd Street South. A resident reported that he was skateboarding on the sidewalk when three black males in their late teens went up to his porch and stole his cell phone. One of the males distracted him by talking about skateboarding while the other two went up to the porch and stole the phone.
11/29 – Driving under the influence and crash in the 2800 block of Beach Boulevard. A resident made a sharp turn into a parking spot and struck a parked vehicle. She was issued a citation for the crash. It was determined that the driver was impaired so a driving under the influence investigation was conducted. Robin Hannula refused to perform a field sobriety test and was subsequently arrested for driving under the Influence. Hannula submitted to a breath test that revealed her breath alcohol content was .189/.191, which is twice the legal limit.