MAHWAH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A Manhattan mom got a terrifying phone call from police Friday morning, saying her son’s babysitter was arrested for trying to set a car on fire in New Jersey.

What’s worse? Police say she brought the child along for the ride.

“The woman is in my home with access to everything in my home,” Bethany Carlson said. “Especially my son, so we put so much trust in this person.”

Carlson says she thought she was doing everything right, hiring 31-year-old Leslie Rosario in August to babysit her one-year-old son for 40 hours a week at their Upper West Side apartment.

Leslie Rosario (credit: Mahwah Police Department)

“Sittercity has a background check verification symbol that they post,” Carlson said. “Even when I check for references, they checked out.”

She made schedules for the sitter, and set up a nanny cam in plain sight.

“She seemed normal,” Carlson remembered.

Friday morning, more than two months after hiring the sitter, Carlson received the terrifying call from police.

“They said Leslie Rosario had taken our son to Mahwah, New Jersey, to a hotel to confront her fiance who was cheating on her,” Carlson said.

Police in Mahwah say on October 5th, Rosario drove the baby about 30 miles to a hotel and proceeded to set a man’s car on fire in the parking lot.

“She left him unattended in the lobby and staff was looking after him,” Carlson said. “I was just in shock.”

Mahwah police said on October 5th, Rosario drove the baby about 30 miles away to this hotel, then tried to set a man’s car on fire in the parking lot.

Rosario had made it back to the apartment with the baby before his mother even got home. She was arrested on Thursday for child endangerment and arson.

“When she gave my name to police, she gave a fake name for me and someone impersonated me,” Carlson said. “They finally subpoenaed her phone, got her phone records, and found me.”

Sittercity said Rosario has been removed from the site and tells CBS2 that even though the company offers it, “We strongly recommend that background checks serve as just one part of a family’s research.”

Carlson says she’s not buying it.

“I even asked the police what else I could’ve done and he said ‘honestly, I don’t know’,” she said, adding she’ll only use professional referrals from now on.


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