Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Miami woman arrested for abandoning disabled teen son at SeaWorld

From Reuters:

A Miami woman on Dec. 21 posted bail and was released from jail following her arrest for allegedly abandoning her severely disabled 18-year-old son at SeaWorld theme park.

Rosa Pou, 44, was arrested on charges of neglecting a disabled person and resisting arrest at the theme park late Monday afternoon.

Other guests and a ride operator reported that her disabled son was left unsupervised for more than an hour, according to the Orange County Sheriff's arrest report.

Officer Kelly Jockin wrote that the teenager, Rafael Soto, had the physical appearance of an 8-year-old and was so disabled that he could not speak or communicate in any fashion. Jockin said he found Soto playing in a sand box.

The operator of a roller coaster told Jockin that he had to stop the ride several times because the teen kept wandering into a restricted danger zone.

Jockin reported that he carried the teen to a vehicle for a ride to guest services and that he could feel Soto's cough and chest congestion. Jockin had a video made of Soto to document the extent of his disability.

Pou subsequently was located by SeaWorld employees. Neither Pou nor her family could be reached for comment Tuesday after her release from jail. Soto was turned over to his father, Carlos Rodriguez, who also was at the park, the report said.

Pou arrived at guest services "smiling and laughing about the victim being lost," according to the report. She refused Jockin's request to have a paramedic examine the teen, stating "this is ridiculous."

Pou was arrested after refusing to answer questions and resisting the officer's attempt to handcuff her, according to the arrest report.