Mother charged after autistic toddler found roaming Lexington streets

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington mother is in jail, accused of endangering the welfare of her autistic child.

Police arrested Jaria Gordon, 23, Friday at her apartment on Centre Parkway.

According to an arrest citation, Gordon admitted to police that she left her four-year-old autistic child unattended for hours on Friday.

Police were called to the 13-hundred block of Centre Parkway after a child was reported wandering in the streets alone. Police say Gordon put her son's life at risk by leaving him unattended from 8:30 in the morning until 5:30 at night.

Neighbors tell WKYT's Brittany Pelletz that children are left unattended too often in this Lexington neighborhood.

Elizabeth Pike, who lives in the neighborhood, said, "I feel that she should be in jail. If you don't watch your kids then you should be in jail. I mean that is the first thing you should do. Watch your kids. Never leave your kids alone, no, never."

We spoke with Gordon's boyfriend who didn't want to say much but explained that her son is safe.

Gordon is charged with first degree wanton endangerment. She declined our request for an interview from jail.

Gordon's grandmother, Eloise Craig says that it was a big mistake.

"She should've asked somebody because somebody would have watched him. I didn't know that she didn't have a babysitter. I thought he was going to daycare, " says Craig.

Despite what has happened, Craig believes Gordon is a good mother. She hopes this will be a wake up call for her. "Open her eyes. So she can see that is your baby," says Craig.

A Fayette County Circuit Judge entered Gordon into a not guilty plea. Gordon's bond is now set to $5,000. She is expected in court on Monday, April 22nd at 8:30 a.m.

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