A Largo man is charged with child abuse after authorities said he left his 8-month-old son locked in the back of a car while trying to buy crack cocaine in Clearwater.
Shawn Zartman, 31, was arrested just before 8 p.m. Friday in the 1100 block of Engman Street, where Clearwater Police found the infant locked in a rear seat of a vehicle that wasn't running and had no air conditioning. Zartman admitted he was inside trying to purchase crack, according to a public safety spokesperson.
Clearwater Fire & Rescue personnel checked the child at the scene and determined he was in good condition. He was returned to his mother.
Officers were originally dispatched to a call about a reckless vehicle, which turned out to be the mother rushing to the Engman Street location, authorities said. The woman said she believed Zartman had taken off with their child "with the intention of using drugs," public safety spokesperson Elizabeth Watts said.
Zartman also faces charges of grand theft and was wanted for domestic battery by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. He was being held in Pinellas County Jail.