TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida woman reportedly abandoned her child in a running car while she swam in the water, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
The department responded to a call around 10:30 a.m. Monday at Capt’n Cons Fish House in Lee County.
According to a witness, 41-year-old Allison Sarah Daugherty parked her car near a local pier, turned up the radio volume, jumped into the water, and swam for 20 minutes all while her child was in the car. Daugherty had also left the air conditioning on in the car.
NBC affiliate WBBH reported that people were shouting at Daugherty as she swam and that there were fishing hooks and sharks in the water.
She yelled back that she didn’t care and “wanted to get hooked” and “would want to meet sharks.”
When deputies arrived, they said the woman swam away from the coast with no intention of stopping. A local marine unit had to bring her back.
A staff member at Capt’n Cons Fish House said they saw the woman and her son three times that week at the restaurant and that she was acting odd.
“We called the sheriff’s office; she didn’t seem drunk. She didn’t seem intoxicated,” staff member Jenny Wray told WBBH, “Something was just off.”
Staff members said they were primarily concerned over the boy as he was young and still in diapers. They told WBBH he was very well-behaved and seemed oblivious to what was going on.
“If it was me and that was the situation, I would want somebody to take my baby in and make sure he is safe,” Wray said.
Daugherty was taken to the Lee County Jail where she is being charged with one count of child neglect for leaving the boy unattended in a car for over 15 minutes.