A Fort Mill woman has been charged with leaving her 16-year-old son in the freezing cold and refusing to let him in the house when he returned after midnight, authorities said.
Geraldine Wylie, 50, of Anderson Street, was charged Friday with unlawful neglect of a child. It happened in December but she was formally charged after a traffic stop Friday by Fort Mill Police.
The mother reported the teen as a runaway between 7-8 p.m. on Dec. 12 and told officers that he often left the house to hang out with a friend who causes trouble. She also claimed to be afraid of her son.
After filing the runaway report, Wylie told police that she planned to lock the door and go to bed since she had to work the next morning. But officers informed her that she was still required to let her son back in the house when he returned since he was a minor.
Several hours later at 12:45 in the morning, officers came by the house. They were shocked by what they saw.
“Officers found (the teen) standing at the front porch in freezing temperatures, approximately 33 degrees,” a police report says. “(He) was at the residence for approximately a half hour prior to officer arrival and could not get Ms. Wylie to the door.”
Officers also tried to get the mother to respond by knocking on the front door and her bedroom window. That’s when the woman called 911 and non-emergency numbers several times, claiming she was in fear for her life and was scared her son was going to harm her while she slept.
But she was unable to provide officers with any reason she felt that way, a report says.
Officers talked to her on the phone and she refused to open her door, so police called DSS officials and began plans to place the teen with a relative. Finally, at 2:30 in the morning, Wylie called police and agreed to let her son back inside.
“Due to Ms. Wylie’s neglect towards the well-being of her son, a warrant request for unlawful neglect of a child was completed,” an officer wrote in the report. “DSS opened an investigation as well.”
It took two months, but police served the outstanding warrant on Wylie after stopping her Friday for a defective taillight. She was taken to the Fort Mill Police Department, where she was processed and then released to her friend.
Here are other arrests from Feb. 18-24 by Fort Mill Police of suspects who were not transferred to the York County Detention Center:
• Jeffrey Landries, of Fort Mill, was charged Feb. 18 with disorderly conduct.
• Renee LaFranca, of Fort Mill, was charged Feb. 18 with trespassing/refusing to leave.
• Jennifer Browning, of Fort Mill, was charged Feb. 21 with DUI.
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