Venice man charged with child neglect after toddler found walking down the street in diapers

Venice man charged with child neglect after toddler found walking down the street in diapers
Venice man arrested for child neglect

VENICE (WWSB) - A Venice man was arrested after deputies say neighbors found his 2-year-old walking down the street in diapers back in February.

David Rufino, 27, is charged with third degree felony child neglect after his neighbor called Venice Police due to a toddler walking in front of their home alone in only a shirt, a diaper and no parental supervision on February 14 in the Pinebrook neighborhood.

Deputies say five minutes after the neighbors called 911, they picked up the child, who was crying and scared. Deputies say EMTs examined the toddler, who was uninjured and did not need medical help.

In the 10 minutes Venice Police officers were on scene, they did not find anyone looking for the toddler. A passing neighbor told them where the child lives, which was a couple houses down from where the toddler was picked up.

Officers walked up to the home they believed the child lived in and that’s when they say Rufino and a woman exited, asking if someone had found their child.

Though the incident happened in February, the State Attorney General’s Office didn’t file documents to prosecute Rufino until April 15. He was arrested on Sunday, April 21 and released the following day under supervised release.

Rufino was previously cited in June 2018 in North Port for leaving children unattended in a running vehicle at Publix. He was ordered to pay $166.

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