A mother and her boyfriend were arrested after Battle Creek police said they found them with partially clothed children in sub-freezing temperatures.
Police said they were on patrol about 1:53 p.m. Wednesday when an officer saw a woman walking around a car holding an infant dressed just in a diaper.
The officer stopped on Hamilton Lane near Capital Avenue Southwest and asked the mother why the child, 9 months old, who was screaming and visibly cold, was out when the temperature was only 28 degrees.
The officer said the woman, 25, who lives in Emmett Township, did not respond coherently. When the officer asked her to return to the car and wrap the little boy in something warm, the officer then realized a girl, 3, was inside the car and also was cold.
The officer asked the woman why they were there and she replied, “I like to laugh. Am I talking too much?”
About then a man, 24, from Bedford Township, approached the car and said they were out of gas and he had been asking people for money. He told police he helps the mother with the children.
When the officer asked to move the children to his patrol car where they would be warmer, the man said they “don’t need any additional heating due to them having internal heaters,” the officer reported.
He also told the officer that he doesn’t need to feed them “because god provides for them.”
Police said the man then went to his knees and started praying in the middle of the street.
The officer contacted Child Protective Services who found the father and they came to the scene and took custody of the children.
Police said when they informed the mother and her boyfriend that the children were being removed, the mother began to giggle and the boyfriend said the children only need god.
Police asked the couple if they had taken any drugs and the boyfriend said no while the woman said “we don’t do that anymore.”
Both were taken to the Calhoun County jail and arraigned Thursday in Calhoun County District Court on charges of fourth-degree child abuse. Each face a maximum penalty of a year in jail if convicted.
Bond was set at $5,000 personal recognizance for the woman and $250 in cash for her boyfriend.
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Contact Trace Christenson at 269-966-0685 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TSChristenson