Crime & Courts
Mom faces pot charge after boy, 3, found wandering in Manatee
A Manatee County mother has been charged after deputies say her 3-year-old special-needs son was wandering the streets while she was under the influence of marijuana. A neighbor who knew the child and where he lived saw him wandering in Bradenton sometime before 5 p.m. Tuesday and call authorities. Manatee County deputies went to the boy’s home on the 3400 block of 31st Street West. Deputies said that while talking to his mother, 23-year-old Ashley Nitz, they detected the smell of marijuana. Deputies said Nitz’s eyes were bloodshot and she was lethargic.Nitz told deputies she forgot to secure a double-key door lock when she went to sleep, and that’s when the boy left the home. Child protective services said Nitz tested positive for marijuana, and the child was removed from the house. Nitz was charged with child neglect.