Drinking Takes Priority Over Missing 4 Year Old – Man Charged with Child Neglect
SPRING HILL – Early Saturday Morning, Charissa Frazier left for work around 7:30 a.m., while her husband watched their four children at their home on White Willow Way.
According to officials, around 8:00 a.m. 911 operators received reports of a small child running in the street, wearing pajamas, no shoes, and unsupervised.
Witnesses say they were able to detain the child near Maltby Road and Boyce Street and hold him until law enforcement could arrive. The child was unable to communicate with witnesses but he did say that he was 4-years-old.
Although covered in sweat, the child appeared to be uninjured when deputies arrived on the scene.
By now, 30 minutes had passed since the child was located, and according to dispatchers, there were still no reports of a missing child.
While canvassing the area, deputies spotted a man walking on Philatelic Road but he made no attempt to flag them down. Deputies made contact with the man, who was later identified as the child’s father, 32-year-old Justus Frazier.
Frazier was transported to the District 2 office on Forest Oaks Blvd, where during an interview, deputies detected a strong odor of alcohol. Frazier admitted to being in the care of the four year old and three other children, who were still at home. He also admitted to drinking a 24oz. Malt Liquor Beer after his wife left for work.
Deputies immediately called Charissa to check on the other children, ages 5, 6, and 9, who were possibly home alone. Charissa confirmed that she was home and the children were safe. She also stated that Justus was not intoxicated when she left for work and that she was in shock over his actions.
When asked why he didn’t contact the Sheriff’s Office when his son disappeared, or divulge that his other children were alone at home, Justus simply stated that he didn’t want to get in trouble.
Deputies charged Justus Ryan Frazier with one count of Child Endangerment and booked him into the Hernando County Jail. Frazier is free on a $2,000 bond.
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