tampabay.com

Mom: I left baby with father

However, the man, who called police, disputes her story and denies he is the infant's father.

By ABBIE VANSICKLE
Published April 7, 2007


TAMPA -- From the police report, the case sounded tragic and clear-cut:

A mother abandoned her infant son. She left him in a car seat on the hood of someone else's car. Next to the baby, a diaper bag. Then she left.

Tampa police got a call about the baby Thursday evening. They found and arrested the mom, Jajuana Y. Broxton, 26, just before midnight on a felony charge of child neglect.

The baby, 8-month-old Anthony Johnson, wasn't hurt.

Broxton was released from jail Friday morning after posting $7,500 bail.

From there, the story gets murkier.

The car's driver is Reginald Johnson, 29. He notified police. He said he came out of a store to find the baby, naked, on his car's hood and called police.

He told a reporter he knows Broxton but doesn't know the baby, not even the infant's name. He said he's not the baby's father.

"She seen me in the middle of the street and dropped the baby off on the hood," Johnson told a reporter in a phone interview. "It don't make no sense to me."

Broxton told a different story.

Broxton said she dated Johnson over a five-year period. She said she broke off the relationship a few weeks ago.

When Broxton was pregnant, Johnson stayed with her, even watching Anthony's birth in the hospital delivery room, she said.

She said Johnson disputed he was Anthony's father because the baby has albinism, is unable to produce pigment in his skin and looks white. Both Broxton and Johnson are black.

She never put Anthony on the car hood, she said. A hair stylist, she had a couple of late appointments and dropped the baby off with Johnson about 5:30 p.m.

She said she handed him the child in a car seat along with a diaper bag stocked with clothes, bottles and other supplies.

Later that night, she and her cousin, Rachel Murray, 16, went to a relative's house. Murray said the two then to Wal-Mart and picked up Wendy's bacon cheeseburgers for the kids' dinners.

Broxton has two other children, 3 and 7.

When Broxton got home, police arrested her, she said, and took the children.

It was Broxton's ninth arrest, records show. Among her previous charges: giving a false name to law enforcement, grand theft auto and disorderly conduct, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Johnson has 10 arrests, mostly on cocaine and marijuana charges, records show.

The children are in state care, Broxton said. She said she was denied visitation. Law enforcement could not comment on their whereabouts.

Broxton said she loves her children and takes good care of them. She walked around her clean, neatly decorated apartment. She pointed out cabinets stocked with cereal, a freezer filled with food, a pink Disney princess dining table.

"I take real good care of my kids," she said, tears in her eyes.

Times researcher Angie Drobnic Holan contributed to this report. Abbie VanSickle can be reached at 813 226-3373 or vansickle@sptimes.com.