On 11/19/19 at approximately 3:16 p.m the affiant officer responded to a complaint of a child being left unattended in a vehicle in Umatilla, FL.
Upon the officer’s arrival, they made contact with the complainant who stated that she’d been walking to the front door of the Online gaming business when she heard what she thought was an infant crying. She then began walking through the parking lot and observed the crying infant in the back seat of the arrestee’s vehicle in its car seat. The complainant advised that after ten minutes of waiting at the vehicle with the child with no one in sight, she opened the car door and removed the child to console it and contacted law enforcement. She had been caring for the child for approximately 15 to 20 minutes before the arrestee finally exited the electronic game lounge in order to check on the child, shortly before the officer arrived on the scene.
Upon speaking with the complainant, the arrestee–Michelle Puma–entered the conversation and advised that she was behind on finances so she went inside of the game lounge in order to try to win some money. She said that the child was sleeping when she arrived and that she “took the gamble on leaving the child in the vehicle with the windows cracked while she tried to go win money”. Ms. Puma was then placed under arrest for child neglect and the child was turned over for safekeeping.
The Department of Children and Families was contacted in reference to the incident.