Mother arrested after son found in parking lot
A Carson City mother was behind bars Monday after diners at Glen Eagles Restaurant found her 3-year-old son wandering in the parking lot Sunday night.
Authorities believe the child walked across four lanes of Highway 395 from his home at Broadleaf Manor apartments off College Parkway, a few blocks away.
Cheryl Veronica Gomes, 42, was being held in the Carson City Jail on suspicion of felony child neglect.
According to a police report, Deputy Rudy Hindelang was called to the restaurant by an employee about 6:39 p.m.
Hindelang said when he arrived, he found the boy sitting with a couple from Sparks eating macaroni and cheese and drinking hot chocolate.
“They were just great with this kid,” he said. “If they hadn’t seen him, there’d probably be no chance we would have found him unharmed.”
The boy could only tell the deputy his name and point to the east, indicating he’d come from that direction, Hindelang said.
As Hindelang contacted Child Protective Services, employees from Glen Eagles went around to surrounding businesses.
“They were scrambling all over the place, frantically trying to find the parents,” he said.
An hour later, Gomes called 911 to report her son missing, the deputy said.
According to Hindelang, Gomes seemed unaffected by the news that her son was found on the other side of the highway. She allegedly told the deputy she’d last seen her son 90 minutes before as he played outside alone and had searched the complex before calling police.
The boy was turned over to Child Protective Service, and Gomes was booked on $40,000 bail.
“I just really want to thank the people at Glen Eagles and the couple that found that little boy,” said the deputy, a father of 6-month-old triplet sons. “That kid was scared to death.”
Deputy Rich Batien, who also responded to call, said he recognized the boy from an incident last week when he’d been bitten on the lip by a dog.
He was at a loss as to how the boy made it safely across the highway, where the posted speed limit is 45 mph.
“When I was down there the traffic was so bad that I could barely make it onto the roadway. He’s very lucky,” Batien said. “The man upstairs was looking out for this boy.”