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JSO: Woman arrested after sleeping child found near drugs, knife

Maureen Wentz faces several charges including child neglect, cocaine possession

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Maureen Wentz
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Maureen Wentz

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman is charged with child neglect, cocaine possession and resisting arrest in an incident Monday morning outside a hotel in the city's Southpoint neighborhood, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

According to an arrest report, a Jacksonville police officer saw a vehicle that was involved in an auto burglary parked in the lot of the Hometown Inn and Suites on Mustang Road.

The officer said he saw Maureen Wentz, 30, smoking a cigarette about 40 feet away from the vehicle. Wentz told the officer she was at the hotel to visit a friend, the report said.

During the investigation, the officer noticed that a child bundled in clothing and a jacket was asleep in the passenger's seat of the Nissan Titan. A large pocket knife was on the seat next to the child's hand, the report said.

When the child awoke, the child was handed to Wentz and the two sat outside the vehicle. The officer reported that there was crack cocaine "sitting on the seat directly underneath where the victim was laying." A sample tested positive for crack cocaine, according to the report.

The Sheriff's Office said Wentz's father arrived to the scene to take custody of the child. But when Wentz handed him the child, police said, she ran from them.

She was arrested after a short foot chase, according to the police report.

Wentz was booked into the Duval County jail and was ordered held on $38,0000 bond.