Police arrest grandmother on child-neglect charge

Columbus police arrested a 51-year-old Columbus woman after a toddler she was in charge of was found, covered in feces, wandering in an indoor playground.

Officer Maren Crabtree of the Columbus Police Department was called to The Commons playground in downtown Columbus about 4:40 p.m. Sunday and spoke to a woman who said a child had feces on his hands and was playing on the playground, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

The woman said no one had checked on the child and she later picked him up and checked with other individuals who could not locate the child’s parents, Harris said. She then called the police, Harris said.

The caller and another parent cleaned the child up and changed his diaper after the parent could not be located, Harris said. The child was taken to the Columbus Police Department by officers and the Department of Child Services was called.

At about 5:30 p.m., Brenda J. Fox arrived at the police station and said she had not seen the police at the playground and no one approached her about her grandchild, Harris said.

Officers said Fox appeared to be under the influence of a narcotic and she was arrested on a preliminary charge of neglect of a dependent, a Level 6 felony, Harris said.

Fox was released from the Bartholomew County Jail after posting $7,500 bond, jail officials said.

The child was later released to the custody of his parents, Harris said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.