GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - Ateen and a woman were arrested after they allegedly forced two children to begfor money in the parking lot of at least two different businesses.
Accordingto the Gonzales Police Department, the incident happened on Wednesday, May 29at roughly 5:40 p.m. Officers were dispatched to the Walmart parking lotbecause a 12-year-old child from Baton Rouge was begging for money.
"Thechild informed officers that he and his cousin had been dropped off around 3p.m. in two different parking lots and were forced to beg for money," Sgt. StevenNethken, Gonzales Police Department, said. "The child had no supervision,water, food and had obviously been left alone to fend for himself."
Sgt.Nethken noted that the child's 10-year-old cousin was not located. However,they did identify Jakeri Ellsworth, 21, and Keoril Green, 17, as the twoindividuals who allegedly left the children behind. One is related to the child,but not a parent.
"Interviewsconducted with Ellsworth and Green concluded with both parties admitting thatthey had dropped the juveniles off to beg for money while they went shoppingfor mobile homes in the area," Sgt. Nethken noted. "Ellsworth and Green alsoinformed officers that earlier they had let the two children out in the K-Martparking lot on Airline Hwy and sat in the car, watching while the children solicitedfor money."
Ellsworthand Green were arrested and charged with cruelty to a juvenile and contributingto the delinquency of a juvenile. They were both booked into the AscensionParish Prison.
Bothchildren were released to their respective biological parent and guardians.Sgt. Nethken noted that the parent and guardians had no prior knowledge of thisincident.
Ateen and a woman were arrested after they allegedly forced two children to begfor money in the parking lot of at least two different businesses.