LONDON — Two women were charged with first-degree criminal abuse after a 16-day-old baby was found on the floorboard of a vehicle with ants crawling on it, a soiled diaper and the baby was also later treated for dehydration.
The mother of the child, Rebecca Jean Fultz, 32, of Livingston and the grandmother of the child, Charolette Simpson, 69, of London were both arrested after Laurel County Sheriff's Sgt. Greg Poynter said he tried to initiate a traffic stop around 7:30 p.m. Thursday on the vehicle the women were traveling in and the vehicle failed to stop.
The press release about the incident from the Laurel County Sheriff's Office states the vehicle traveled approximately one quarter-mile before stopping in a driveway of the residence off Old Richmond Road about two miles north of London. Deputies said they learned Fultz and Simpson had outstanding bench warrants and arrested the women.
Fultz refused to exit the vehicle, the release said, and had to be removed from the vehicle.
During the arrest, the release said, one of the women said there was a baby inside the vehicle. The deputies did not immediately locate the baby because it was not in a child safety seat mounted in the vehicle.
Deputies found the 16-day-old infant on the floorboard between the two front seats with its head facing toward the center console, creating a hazard for the infant. Deputies said the infant had labored breathing and was also found with ants crawling on it, a soiled diaper, and the deputies noted no air conditioning was in the vehicle.
In addition, deputies said trash and debris, including a flatscreen TV, were all over the vehicle which could have easily been thrown about in the vehicle during a sudden stop.
Deputies said they called for Ambulance Inc. of Laurel County to respond to the scene, and upon arrival it was determined the child needed to be transported to a local hospital due to its in condition. Deputy Joey Robinson, who was previously a paramedic, drove the ambulance to St. Joseph Hospital London so both attendants could work with the infant on the way to the hospital. The infant was treated at the hospital for dehydration according to the release.
Fultz was also charged with resisting arrest and menacing. She was also charged on a Rockcastle District Court bench warrant of arrest charging failure to appear in court on charges of failure to use child restraint device in vehicle, failure of owner to maintain required insurance – first offense and failure to produce insurance card.
Simpson was also charged with operating on suspended or revoked operator's license, failure to wear seatbelts, failure of non-owner operator to maintain required insurance – first offense, no registration plates and no registration receipt. Simpson was also charged on a Rockcastle District Court bench warrant of arrest charging failure to appear in court on charges of operating on suspended or revoked operator's license.
Fultz and Simpson were lodged in the Laurel County Correctional Center.