When a woman dropped her foster daughter off at the Plaza to play while she drove home, it was a little after 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4, and the daughter remembers her foster mother saying she would be back before dark. That might not have drawn attention but for the fact the daughter was 7 years old.
The girl played happily with other children until one parent asked where her mother was. The girl explained she had gone home but would be back before dark. That didn’t sit well with the concerned parent, who called police to report what might have been an abandoned child.
Sonoma police officers arrived quickly and gently questioned the girl, who told them her mother had gone home to drop groceries off and would be back before dark. The child referred to her foster mother as “Mo” and said she had lived with her for “most of her life.”
Police waited with the child in the Plaza for 50 minutes before taking her with them back to the police station. A short time later the mother called, having been told by children at the Plaza that police had taken the girl.
The mother claimed she had only been gone 15 or 20 minutes, and when police said that was impossible because they were with the child for 50 minutes in the Plaza, the mother claimed she must have been there but not seen the officers. She said she had gone home because she didn’t want her ice cream to melt.
After consulting with officials from Child Protective Services, police were advised to release the girl to her foster mother. Police said a report was subsequently prepared on the behavior of the 55-year-old El Verano foster mother and submitted to CPS.
In other incidents reported to local law enforcement:
Monday, Sept. 30:
11:30 a.m. – Miscue of a not-so-master forger. A clerk in a market in the 18000 block of Sonoma Highway reported a man cashed a check that the clerk thought was not legitimate. Deputies investigated and discovered that the man apparently stole a $130 child support check, forged the payee’s name and then signed it over to himself. James Cloud, 30, a Springs transient, was charged with felony burglary, felony forgery, felony passing a fraudulent check and a probation violation, and was booked into the county jail.
Tuesday, Oct. 1:
1:30 a.m. – Husband arrested for hitting wife. Deputies were sent to a residence in the 18000 block of Railroad Avenue on the report of a domestic disturbance. The victim told the deputies that her husband hit her in the face and that the attack was witnessed by their children. The 37-year-old man was arrested and charged with cruelty to a child and domestic battery. The deputies also got an emergency protective order for the wife.
8:05 a.m. – A laptop, a bike and … six pairs of shoes? A resident in the 200 block of Old Maple Avenue reported that when he awakened that morning, he discovered a laptop computer that had been in the family room was missing. He found the backdoor unlocked, and six pairs of shoes that were outside the door, also missing. A garage door opener was also taken as were some tools and a bike from the garage. There was no sign of forced entry.