PORT JEFFERSON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island woman has been arrested and charged, after police said she left her 6-year-old home alone overnight while she went on a date.
As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, neighbors in Port Jefferson spotted the boy in pajamas, playing in the street.
Next door neighbors Al and Cathy DeMeo were flabbergasted to find the boy home alone.
“He didn’t have the proper clothing on – you know, it looked like pajamas – and I think it was about 10:30 in the morning,” Al DeMeo said, adding that it was a school day and the boy should have been in school.
In a split second, Al DeMeo saw the child wander into the street as he ran to help as a Port Jefferson village constable pulled up.
“A constable who makes a periodic survey of the neighborhood stopped to ask him, quite loud, ‘What are you doing in the street little fellow?’” Al DeMeo said. “And he says, ‘Well, I’m alone.’”
That set off alarm right away for Port Jefferson Village Constable James Murdocco.
“I asked him if he was all right. The first thing he said, he was hungry,” Murdocco said. “So I knew something was wrong, at that point, especially his pajamas were still on.”
Murdocco called police backup as the mystery began to unravel. Investigators said they found the child’s mother – Melissa Weiner, 31 – in Dix Hills with a male friend.
Weiner reportedly told detectives that she thought her son would be fine for a few hours while she “hung out with a nice guy,” and that she “accidentally must have fallen asleep.”
Sixteen hours had passed by the time Weiner’s son was spotted in the street, neighbors and police said.
“I said, ‘How did you get out of the house?’ He’s only 6. And he said, ‘I unlocked the door,’” Al DeMeo said. “With that I said, ‘Why are the lights on in the living room?’ (He said), ‘You know, I put them on last night because it was dark.’”
Police described it all as a tragedy waiting to happen. The child could have drowned with a swimming pool across the street, and he could have been hit by a car or even kidnapped, Murdocco said.
“It’s just a sad situation, because anything could have happened,” Murdocco said. “He’s very, very small; he just turned 6.”
“It’s sad – sad,” said Cathy DeMeo. “Your heart breaks because he’s a little boy. He shouldn’t be left alone.”
As CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, there was no comment Monday evening from inside Weiner’s home.
Melissa Weiner has been issued a temporary order of protection to stay away from her son until her next court date. The child remained with relatives as of late Monday afternoon.
Weiner was released from jail after posting $2,000 bond. Her legal aid attorney did not return calls for comment.
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