Oct. 22--A Sanford mother was arrested on Thursday, police said, accused gambling in an Internet cafe while her child waited in the car -- which was later towed with the boy inside.
Edgewood police say the incident began when 46-year-old Elizabeth Tato drove with her son to a Family Dollar on South Orange Avenue on Thursday afternoon.
Tato told police she noticed The Winner's Circle, a so-called strip-mall casino, was nearby and asked her son, age 11, if he wanted to come in with her, but he elected to stay in the car.
She told police she was only inside for 15 to 20 minutes, but a security officer at The Winner's Circle said she played games for about an hour, before noticing her car was gone.
Tato reported the car stolen, but it had actually been repossessed, an arrest report states. Unaware that there was a child inside, police say a tow driver removed it from the lot.
When the tow truck driver noticed the child, police say he moved the boy to the truck's cab. He then drove to a RaceTrac gas station, and left the child with its manager.
The boy told police he fell asleep in the car when his mother left, and awoke to find it was being towed. He said he wasn't hurt, police said, and appeared to be fine physically.
Tato was arrested on a charge of neglect of a child without great harm. The boy was turned over into his father's custody, the arrest report states.
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