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Father arrested after leaving toddler alone at state park campsite, cops say

Francis William Dunn
Francis William Dunn Monroe County Sheriff's Office

A father was arrested at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo Sunday after leaving his toddler alone at a campsite, police say.

Francis William Dunn, a 46-year-old Jacksonville man, was arrested and charged with child neglect and resisting arrest after campers told police the found child was “abandoned” at his campsite, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

“Deputies arrived to find a couple stating a toddler had been “abandoned” in a neighboring campsite, but the man had just returned,” police spokesman Adam Linhardt said. “A baby stroller was found overturned a the campsite and multiple items strewn about. The suspect, later identified as Dunn, was found inside a tent along with the child. He smelled of alcohol.”

Dunn refused to exit the tent after demanding to see the deputies’ badge, police said.

“The deputy displayed his uniform,” Linhardt said. “Eventually, deputies pulled him out of the tent and arrested him while he attempted to pull away. The child was placed in deputies’ care.”

Police contacted the Florida Department of Children and Families, who later stated that the child was “covered in mosquito bites, was wearing a soiled diaper that was falling apart and appeared to have not eaten in a while.”

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