TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA/CNN) — A North Carolina mother was charged with misdemeanor child abuse after allegedly leaving her children on a road and speeding away, WTVD reports.
Jennifer Westfall, 38, of Fuquay-Varina, is accused of dropping her children, ages 9 and 19 months-old, off on the side of Reedy Creek Road on Oct. 2. A witness picked up the children and took them to school, then a school resource officer contacted Child Protective Services.
In an interview with WTVD, Westfall denied abandoning her children on the side of the road, saying she thought they were in safe hands once the witness came to their aid.
“I saw the lady walk and take my kids’ hand so I knew they were in safe hands,” Westfall said.
But under the state’s “Safe Surrender” law, only children up to a week old can be surrendered to another adult, according to WTVD.
“I feel terrible about what I did. I’ve always had my kids’ back no matter what. I was just so tired. Absolutely tired,” Westfall said.
“It was wrong, but you know, I — I — I’ve always fought for my kids my whole life. I’ve always fought for them and I will fight no matter what. And I’ve always tried to do it on my own. I just can’t do it on my own,” she added.
Westfall was arrested and charged with two counts of misdemeanor child abuse Monday. She was released from jail last night and is due in court next month.
Both children were placed in foster care by CPS.