5-year-old home alone, mother charged
Published 3:21 pm, Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Gleice Porretta, 33, of 26 Fairfield Ave., Apartment A, Darien, was arrested March 14 on a charge of one count of risk of injury to a minor after police say she left her sick 5-year-old son home alone.
Police said they received a call from the state Department of Children and Families just before noon asking them to make a welfare check at the apartment. The DCF told police it received a report that a 5-year-old boy might have been home alone, according to the police reprot.
When police arrived at the apartment and knocked on the door, a 5-year-old boy answered and said no one else was home, according to the report. He told the officers that he was not allowed to let anyone in, however, they were able to gain entry to the first-floor apartment, the report stated.
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A DCF case worker and the boy's uncle, who made the initial call, also arrived on scene, police said.
According to police, the uncle said the boy communicated with his father, who was in California on business for the week, via a tablet in the home. The uncle tried to contact the boy's mother, but was unsuccessful. The uncle told police that he and his brother -- the boy's father -- believed he had been home alone since 7 a.m. His older brother was at school.
Police reported that there was a tray of food containing a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, apple slices and a drink left for the child, who was still in his pajamas.
The uncle told police that he and his brother believe the two boys are left home alone frequently, according to the report. He also told police he believed the parents were having marital problems and that Porretta has a boyfriend she visits while the boys are home alone, according to the report.
Police said Porretta baby-sits for a Darien family and is employed at Bodega Taco Bar.
The officers made contact with Porretta, who returned home and explained that she had left to pick up the girl she baby-sits from day care in New Canaan to bring her to dance class in Darien, police said. Porretta brought the girl to the apartment and she was picked up by her family, police said.
Porretta told police that she was gone for 45 minutes, but officers told her they had been on scene for more than an hour, the report stated.
The children were placed in the uncle's custody, police said, and Porretta was prohibited from having any communication with them until she follows up with the DCF, according to the report.
She was released on a promise to appear March 24.