from www.baynews9.com – A mother is facing child neglect charges after allegedly leaving her two children, ages 3 and 5, inside a car Tuesday night while she went into a popular Tampa strip club.
Had it not been for the Mons Venus managers and a regular customer, Tampa Police said it could have been much worse for Brandi Jo Roman, 28, and her two children.
Mons Venus’ manager Jean Burns said Roman tried to get into the club a first time, but she didn’t have any money and went back to her car. She said Roman wound up slumped over the wheel.
A short time later “she came back in the club, she had gathered up quarters and dollars to pay the cover charge, and [the staff] took her in to get her in there so she didn’t leave with the children.”
A customer, identified as “John,” watched the incident unfold and realized Roman’s condition was not good. He ran across a busy Dale Mabry Highway and flagged down two Tampa police officers in the area.
When they made it to the club, Roman was still inside. Burns said “door was unlocked, open container of alcohol, truck was running. [The] kids could have got out, ran along Dale Mabry or threw the truck into gear — drank the alcohol.”
When the officers approached the vehicle, they found the children unattended and the 3-year-old was crying. Officers said a can of malt liquor was in plain view inside the truck.
Mons Venus owner Joe Redner applauded his staff and customer’s actions. “My manager didn’t want her driving away with those children in the shape she was in,” Redner told Bay News 9. “She was drunk.”
“I am a mother,” the manager said. “I wanted her to stay there. I didn’t want her leaving, driving.”
The officers went inside the club and found Roman sitting near a stage. They said her speech was slurred and she showed other visible signs of intoxication.
According to police, Roman told the officers that she went inside the club to drink more alcohol and left the children watching a movie inside the car.
Looking back at it, Burns just hopes the children aren’t traumatized by the situation. “I hope as young as they are, they don’t remember that,” she said. The children are now in the custody of the state.
Roman is being held on $2,000 bond.