Diaper-clad child found alone in West End street

HENRICO, Va. (WTVR) — Neighbors say a child, wearing only a diaper, was standing in the middle of Schaaf Drive Sunday night.

Police were called after a woman working at a nearby house said she couldn’t get the parents to answer the door.

Schaaf Drive, tucked away off Skipwith Road, is normally quiet, according to people living on the street.

“I saw a couple of cop cars, I don’t know how many,” said Emerson Wilby, who lives nearby.

Sunday night in the West End community,  a caregiver for someone living in the neighborhood came across a small child in the middle of the road.

“She found the four-year-old in the street with a diaper on, so she knocked on the door but didn’t get a response,” said Wilby.  “So she called police.”

Police sources say the child had just a diaper and a t-shirt on.

Police reports say the parents, Joseph Floyd and Mindy Housel were arrested for felony child neglect.

“The law puts a certain levels of duties on parents to have a level of care for the children,” said CBS 6 legal expert Todd Stone.  “If they fail to exercise that level, then there are criminal charges. The courts will look at what the children were wearing, how long they were outside and statements by the parents. Does it all make sense?”

People claiming to know the couple said that the couple came across as loving parents. But they said they hadn’t lived at the house for very long.  Stone says a defense lawyer will most likely use character statements like that to help their clients’ case.

“A defense attorney will build a background and show what kind of people they are,” Stone said.  “If they convey to a judge it was a lapse of judgment then maybe it can get reduced.”

The child neglect charge in this case is a class 6 felony which carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.

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