Mother arrested for letting son walk to park alone

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A mother is facing child neglect charges after letting her son to walk to a local park alone.

Nicole Gainey says her 7-year old son, Domnic, is old enough to walk to the park alone during the day.

It’s a half-mile from their home in St. Lucie, Florida – about a 10 minute walk.

She says he also has a cellphone in case of emergency.

But a police officer brought Dominic home Saturday afternoon and arrested his mother.

The police report said it was because Dominic was unsupervised and that numerous sex offenders live in the area.

Nicole says she plans to fight the charges but she won’t let Dominic go to the park alone anymore because  she’s afraid she’ll be arrested again.

The State’s Attorney’s office says there is no law that says exactly how old a child has to be before they can go somewhere unsupervised.

It’s done on a case-by-case basis.

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    • davidf95

      Please, Queen Vicky, tell us, what age will YOU ALLOW us to allow our kids to walk to the park? And please give me your phone number. I’ll be calling you quite often to ask what I am and what I am not allowed to do. I need you to tell me.

  • Schmoobie McPhoobie

    Proper procedure would be to bring the child home (assuming that was even necessary) and informing the parent(s) that it might not be be a good idea because of potential danger. An initial warning would show that the officer was serving the public good. Give that no law governs age, you cannot enforce a law that doesn’t exist. Seven might be too young or old enough entirely depending on the individual child.

    • diane

      I’m talking about the good ole days but depending on your town, hundreds of kids this age walked home from school all year long by themselves. Especially since parochial schools didn’t have bus service. Police officer was way out of line.

  • Nikki

    If you go to any big city like Chicago where I’m from there are children and some a lot younger than 7 taking public transportation buses and the el home or to school or wherever they are going ALONE. THAT IS WAY WORSE THAN A KID WALKING TO THE PARK WHERE HIS MOM IS A MINUTE CAR RIDE AWAY WITH A CELL PHONE

    • Demetrius Johnson

      Nikki you a Damn lie, I’m from chi town and I have never seen a kid 7 or under taking the bus or el, stop making the city look bad.

      • Yolo McSwag

        Lolwut. I see plenty of kids that do that. And your view is already biased if you think it makes the city look worse.

  • Brandon Cunningham (@brandoncomputer)

    “The State’s Attorney’s office says there is no law that says exactly how old a child has to be before they can go somewhere unsupervised.” There doesn’t have to be. Unless your charging someone with child neglect. Then there has to be in order to make a charge. I’m not an attorney, but this appears ludicrous. Otherwise I find all of you criminally negligent for what you are feeding your children, and the types of shelters you are providing. Since laws are ill defined, I can charge anyone with whatever I want. And have you arrested for neglect too.

  • Bonnie Fryberger Nein

    As a parent an grandparent if there are numerous sex offenders in the area. I definitely wouldn’t be allowing my child or grandchild go to a park on supervised!!!!! Think her being arrested is a little harsh!!! Maybe educate her about the people around her area!!!!

  • Muriel Lewis

    YEAH .leave them alone on a school bus.leave them alone at school.dont tell me theres enough adults to watch them.why aren’t there post stating that there are sex offenders in the

  • Nathan Hale

    The police in this country have been violating our rights, imprisoning and murdering us at will for a long long time now.

    Hey, it’s understandable – the Prison Industrial Complex needs more warm bodies, and their lobbyists in your local state capital and in Washington DC are pushing hard to criminalize every aspect of human behavior while requiring jail time for more and more “crimes.” Lots of money in ruining people’s lives, you know.

    But rest assured – sooner or later, someone is going to say no. Sooner or later, someone is going to resist when the cops try to stop and frisk him just for walking down the street, or arrest them for no damn reason at all like in this case. Sooner or later, someone is going to fight back – with guns if necessary – against the Nazis in blue when they try to harass/beat/railroad/murder another innocent person.

    Sooner or later, there’s gonna be a war. Not a riot, a full-scale war. Count on it.

  • nickiuro

    Because there are numerous sex offenders live in the area!!! Here’s and idea, don’t let these registered sex offenders live in an area near parks and schools. I don’t give a care about their rights, we are pandering to criminals and everyone else needs to adjust the way they live because these sex offenders belong in society and we cannot discriminate.

  • Krassatoon

    This arrest appalls me. I played with my friends unsupervised all summer long at that age, both near my house and at the edge of our development. It’s important for kids developmentally to be able to do so. And I agree with other posters that you don’t arrest a mother based on the presence of convicted sex offenders. If the convicts are a danger, they shouldn’t be out on the street!

  • DavidA

    This is absurd! Plenty of 7 year olds take the subway to school in NYC. I would take a bus or ride my bike to a nearby lake and go fishing, or go to the park that was several miles away. I also used to ride my bike just about anywhere on the sidewalk. I guess we should just keep our kids inside where they can sit and play video games all day. Sad…

  • SadRoamer

    Day late and a dollar short but there is an old article from 2007 over at the Guardian about the distances 4 generations of one family were allowed to roam. Great-grandpa would walk 6 miles alone to fish, his great-grandson isn’t allowed past the end of their street, 300 meters.


    the article is titled “How children lost the right to roam in four generations”.

  • S. Vale

    A sad day when law enforcement chooses to persecute the unaware instead of siezing the opportunity for public education, awareness, and good will. If they had done it right, they could have pointed out the shortcomings of our judicial system which allows so many of the sex crazed lunatics free upon our streets…people are power, but instead they choose to make enemies of the decent and generally law abiding, so they must want to be friends with the offenders. Someday, there will be a reckoning and those that are so badge heavy they have lost all common sense may find themselves alone instead of with needed public support…so what side do they really want to be on?

  • cynthia shenk

    So the police cannot keep us safe so parents are going to be arrested? Not the police, judges and politicians who have made the U.S. an unsafe place to be. But the tax payer who PAYS these people to keep us safe will be arrested. I can bet money that DCFS is behind the arrest. They are the beast that has taken over and are in large part to blame for the war on parents and traditional families.

  • ps

    i really dont see how the fact that registered sex offenders being in Her area, sex offenders released and relocated into her area is probable cause for her to get arrested. She is simply living her life with precautions in place: she has to give her bot a cell phone before going out to play. the judges a penal system has protected the rights of more criminals who cannot be rehabilatated and made a criminal out of an innocent mother, who already is living in a highly sensitive and scared society.

  • Intheknow

    We as a society have dumbed down to the point of the absurd. Seven is young, but not so young that a half mile walk to the local park should be looked upon as a felony. Come one, I see children in my neighborhood riding their bikes, walking along with cell phones, and actually playing outside. Sex offenders are always around. There is one in my neighborhood who is registered. Does this mean that you should keep your kid locked in the house until he or she is 21? I hope not. In Port Lucie, the boy ran across lanes of traffic to escape police, or because he was scared of them. That could have ended in utter disaster. Some busy body woman with nothing better to do called police to say this boy was alone. Clearly he had a destination in mind. Apparently in PL you can’t leave your kid home alone. Not until age 12. Really? You can’t run to the store while your seven year old is at home playing video games? Seriously?

    When I was 7 or 8, I was making my own breakfast, watching my younger sibling (no, my parents didn’t leave us alone but my mother was often on the phone while I kept an eye on things), and I was expected to wash my breakfast dishes, that of my sibling, etc. I played outside ALL the time. Rode bikes, ran blocks to visit my friends (and they did the same things). Guess what? There were sex offenders around then too. Sex offenders are not a new phenomenon. And back then, they were not even registered. I was taught NEVER to talk to strangers. Ever. I think the police have little to do with their time in PL if this is the type of crap they spend their time doing, i.e., arresting a mom because she allowed her seven year old son to walk to the park. Half a mile is not that far. My sibling used to walk blocks to play ball at the local park. He’d meet many others there and they’d spend the day there. Ditto for playing pick up basketball. Come on people, dangers are always out there but if we have to keep our kids under surveillance until they’re 21, heaven help us all! Oh, and by the way, teenagers can fall prey to sex offenders, too. Remember John Wayne Gacy and all the teen boys he murdered? They were much older than 7. To the PD of Port Lucie, find some REAL crime going on and get lives, will you please!

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