On Sunday afternoon, a Bartow County deputy was dispatched to the community pool of the Evergreen at the Vineyards Apartment Homes on Sheffield Place in reference to an eight-year-old boy who had been left by himself for several hours.
The complainant advised the boy was there when he got there at around 12:15. At 3:55, he and his friends grew concerned that the boy was alone and had no adult supervision. Upon speaking with the boy, he learned that the boy doesn’t live in that community and didn’t have any friends or family there. It was later discovered that he lived almost 1.5 miles away on Iron Belt Court.
One of the complainant’s friends said the boy told her that his mother dropped him off and said she was going to the store and would pick him up later. The boy said he didn’t know how to swim.
The complainant was able to contact his mother, who sounded angry at him. It was after that that he called law enforcement.
The deputy observed the boy’s mother, 37-year-old Rolonda Latrice Betts, arrive at the pool gate at around 4:10. She tried to leave hastily and began yelling and cursing at the deputy in the presence of multiple people including juveniles when the deputy told her she wasn’t allowed to leave.
Betts stated she dropped the boy off with his 13-year-old cousin at 1:30. She gave the deputy a location as to where the cousin could be. At that location, all the occupants told the deputy they didn’t know Betts and no 13-year-old lived there.
The deputy observed the juvenile to have no food or water and heard him tell his mother several times that he was hungry and thirsty. Due to that fact and that the boy said he didn’t know how to swim, Bartow County DFCS was called to the scene to take the boy and his three-year-old sister who had been with Betts.
Rolonda Betts was arrested and charged with reckless conduct and disorderly conduct.