The officer who filed the police report, as quoted by the Everything Lubbock local news site, said he believed he had sufficient legal reason to enter the apartment after taking a look at the little girl.
It was not the first time that the child had been found wandering unsupervised outside of her home. Trash was everywhere and cockroaches were visible within the unit.
According to the police report, the child’s feet, face and hair “were extremely dirty” and she ‘had not been bathed for an extended period of time.’ The report continued to state that child had on ‘a dress that was dirty and was not fastened in the back.’ Police say the child was talking, but unable to speak in complete sentences. “The kitchen was in no way sanitary or functional”.
Even more disturbing, as the officers waited for Child Protective Services agents to arrive to take the child into their temporary custody, the little girl not only complained repeatedly about feeling hungry, but at one point told the officers, “I need a beer”.
Lubbock Co. Detention Center Shauna Lee Bennett, 42, was arrested and charged with child abandonment.
A friend of Bennett’s, neighbor Keith Graves, told Fox affiliate KJTV-TV he’d been helping to babysit the girl, and that the arrest was a misunderstanding. Some of Bennett’s neighbours defended the mom.
“It’s really hard when you talk about children who are not… old enough to speak out on their behalf which is what is so scary for parents”, said Stacy Johnson, Director of Texas Tech’s Child Development Research Center. “I just feel like if you’re going to, you have to interact with your child when they’re that small”. “And it can be overwhelming. and sometimes you need help and you just don’t know where to go”, Griffith said through tears. Shauna Bennett, 42, was arrested over the weekend and charged with child abandonment and endangerment. Bennett couldn’t tell the officer what time the girl had eaten the ravioli and claimed the child had slept until noon, skipping breakfast.
Bennett was released from jail on $15,000 bond on Monday.