CSneglect081120A

Eric T. Sickler

ENGLEWOOD — An Englewood father was arrested for leaving his 4-year-old son home alone to attend DUI school, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office reported Monday.

Eric T. Sickler, 32, of Tramore Avenue, was attending DUI school in Venice Saturday when a resident found the child sitting alone in front of an Englewood East convenience store around 9:50 a.m.

When the person — who was not identified in the report — approached the child, the little boy began to cry. She asked him questions, trying to find out why he was alone and where he lived, and as able to calm him down. The person called 911.

When deputies arrived, the boy said when he woke up, his father was gone so he decided to go for a walk. The boy said he lived in a blue house with a gold van, and that his father was away at school.

Deputies canvassed the neighborhood searching for a house that matched the child’s description, but ultimately called the Department of Children and Families to help identify the child’s father.

When deputies went to the home, they found the door unlocked and no one inside.

After Sickler arrived home from the DUI school, deputies returned to interview him. The father said he had searched everywhere for the boy, but couldn’t find him. The man had been gone for six hours, the sheriff’s office reported.

Deputies told Sickler the child was safe at the District One office.

Sickler, who posted a $5,000 bond Sunday, was arrested on the charge of neglect of a child without great bodily harm for failing to provide the care, supervision, and necessities to maintain a safe and healthy environment.

“We would like to thank the community for coming together to assist with the safety and well-being of this child,” wrote CCSO Public Information Officer Claudette Bennett in an email to the Sun.

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