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Small, scared voice turns to 911 for help

With her mother not home and a stranger at the door, the child dials for assistance. The mother is charged.

By TAMARA LUSH

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 29, 2000


NEW PORT RICHEY -- A 6-year-old girl dialed 911 Monday afternoon, scared and alone.

Mommy wasn't home when she got home from school, the girl told a dispatcher, and she was afraid because someone she didn't know knocked on the family's front door.

When New Port Richey officer Shannon George went to 6827 Porter Road on Monday afternoon, he found the little girl frightened but unhurt.

The officer said he waited about an hour for the girl's mother, Ivy Elaine Plummer, to get home. Neither the girl nor the neighbors knew where Plummer worked as a certified nurse's assistant.

When Plummer arrived, she was angry, police said.

Plummer told police that she left the girl without supervision, the officer's report said.

"She felt it was none of our business and the child was fine," New Port Richey Sgt. Glenn Pratt said Tuesday. "To some people, I guess, a 6-year-old is big enough to be left alone."

Police and state officials didn't think so.

The child was placed into the custody of relatives, said Elaine Fulton-Jones, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Children and Families.

Plummer was arrested and charged with felony child neglect. Police also said that she shut a door on George's foot, and was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer.

As Plummer was booked into the Land O'Lakes jail, she shoved a corrections deputy into a wall, according to jail officials. A second corrections deputy squirted Plummer with a pepper spray-like substance, and she was charged with a second count of battery on a law enforcement officer.

Plummer was held at the county jail in lieu of $7,500 bail.

Police were unsure whether the girl had been left alone on previous occasions. Pratt said the child and the mother were lucky that nothing happened while the girl was home alone.

"At least she was smart enough to call 911," Pratt said.

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