Florida mom Allison Daugherty is arrested after abandoning toddler in running car so she could go swimming with sharks
- Allison Daugherty, 41, was charged with child neglect
- She left two-year-old boy in vehicle with AC running while she swam
- Daugherty, who seems to have severe mental health issues, told bystanders she wanted to ‘meet sharks’
A Florida woman has been arrested for child neglect after leaving a toddler in a running car while she left to go swim in the ocean and ‘meet sharks’.
Deputies from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office were called to Capt’n Con’s Fish House, a waterfront diner in Bokeelia near Cape Coral at around 10.27am on Monday.
Allison Sarah Daugherty, 41, had parked near the pier and cranked up the radio before jumping into the water, leaving the child alone in the vehicle with the air conditioning still running.
People shouted at her, alerting her to the presence of fishing hooks and sharks.
Allison Sarah Daugherty, 41, was arrested on Monday after abandoning a two-year-old toddler in a running vehicle to go swimming with sharks
Daugherty, 41, is shown grinning in her mug shot on Monday after being charged with child neglect
She shouted that she didn’t care, wanted to ‘get hooked’ and ‘meet sharks’.
Twenty minutes later, passersby noticed the child crawling around in the car in a diaper.
After deputies arrived, Daugherty began to swim further from the coast. A Boca Grande Marine Unit eventually brought her to shore.
Police surveillance footage showed her treading water then being walked in her black bikini to a nearby police vehicle.
Daugherty was listed as ‘transient’ on the arrest record, meaning she did not have a physical home with an address at the time.
She had visited the restaurant three times in the last week, according to staff.
Daugherty is shown swimming to a police boat after trying to evade arrest on Monday
Daugherty in a social media photo. She has previously been charged with not paying child support
Staff member Jenny Wray told NBC 2: ‘We called the sheriff’s office; she didn’t seem drunk. She didn’t seem intoxicated. Something was just off.’
After Daugherty’s arrest, staff fed the boy lunch while waiting for a family member to pick him up.
Wray described him as ‘sweet’ and ‘very well-behaved.’
‘He sat and ate and watched TV like oblivious to what was going on, thank god,’ she said.
Daugherty is a mother of two. Police are yet to confirm whether the child in the vehicle was her own
‘If it was me and that was the situation, I would want somebody to take my baby in and make sure he is safe.’
Daugherty was booked at the Lee County Jail, charged with one count of child neglect for ‘leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle for an excess of 15 minutes’.
It was not her first run-in with the law, as Daugherty had disputes in the past over unpaid insurance and child support.
A series of increasingly incoherent Facebook posts were made in the weeks leading up to her arrest.
The mother-of-two went from beaming with her children on Christmas and Halloween to sharing photos of nebulas, meteors and strange weather phenomena.
On August 1, the mother-of-two posted a picture of a handwritten letter that said: ‘My face is a stranger’s. No it’s the stranger that stole my face. Who was or is it? Where is it? Most importantly, why?!’
She made her last post on August 29 before going silent.
It read, in part: ‘ME ME ME ME ME THANK YOU JESUS JESHUA IS THE ONLY TRUE GOD EVERY KNEE WILL BOW 1 WAY OR ANOTHER. HE WILL SEPARATE THE SHEEP FROM THE GOATS, YOU CHOOSE.’
The pier where Daugherty went swimming on Monday, leaving her toddler in a car