Police: Mother packs bag for son, drops him off at shopping center alone

Adriana McBeth, 40, arrested on charge of child neglect

By Ethan Calloway - Anchor/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A mother was arrested over the weekend after she became so frustrated with her son's behavior that she dropped him off in a parking lot and left him on his own, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Adriana McBeth, 40, is charged with child neglect. 

News4Jax has learned McBeth was a licensed nursing assistant at a Jacksonville nursing home, but has since been fired. A former co-worker said Monday that she was surprised to hear about the arrest and thinks McBeth just snapped.

On Saturday afternoon, police said, McBeth made her son pack a duffel bag before dropping him off in the parking lot of a shopping center off Dunn Avenue in Northwest Jacksonville. 

A JSO officer found the boy outside a police substation and began piecing together what happened, according to a Sheriff's Office report. 

"When I was a school resource officer, I often contacted parents who said the same thing: The child is disrespectful and they don't know what to do," said Gil Smith, News4Jax crime and safety analyst. 

Smith said it's not uncommon for children to push parents to their limits. But according to the police report, McBeth told investigators that her son was very disrespectful, saying she “put him out the house” because he often “talks back” and doesn’t "abide by the rules.”

Smith said organizations such as the Youth Crisis Center and the Department of Children and Families are available to help frustrated parents.

"They also are a resource for services that parents can reach out to in terms of dealing with their kids that are being disruptive," Smith said. 

McBeth remained in the Duval County Jail as of Monday evening. The child's age was redacted from the police report. 

"We don't know how old this child is, but still, the child is a minor and you can't just drop the child off and leave him," Smith said.

There's no word on where they boy is now staying. Smith said DCF will likely get involved to investigate if the family's home is safe, which should determine if McBeth will be allowed to regain custody. 

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