The Washington Post

Bethesda mother cited for leaving 6-year-old home alone

The mother of a 6-year-old girl left her alone at their Be­thesda apartment Wednesday night, apparently while she went to a kickboxing class and the grocery store, Montgomery County police said.

After the woman left home, county firefighters were called about 7:20 p.m. for a report of smoke in the 6400 block of Rock Forest Drive, said Capt. Marcus Jones, a police spokesman.

The firefighters found the girl home alone. She was not hurt.

She apparently had burned bread in a toaster oven, but there was no fire, said Capt. Oscar Garcia of the Montgomery County Fire Department.

The child was taken to a police station. Officials left word with a neighbor regarding her whereabouts. Her mother arrived at the station later and told police she had gone to the grocery store and to kickboxing class, Jones said. Police issued her a criminal citation for leaving a child unattended.

Police did not identify the mother so the girl’s name would remain confidential, Jones said. The child was expected to be released to her mother late Wednesday.

Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.

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