by Tom Roussey/ABC7
Both Cane Hartwick, 26, and Athena Colon, 24, were arrested and charged with two counts of felony child neglect.
According to Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office, deputies pulled over the moped Wednesday in the area of Lookout Terrace Apartments after receiving calls about a "very young child" riding as a passenger in the area of Plank Road and Salem Church Road. At that time, authorities identified Hartwick as the driver, Colon as the passenger and the child as their 5-month-old baby.
Members of the Child Victims Unit and the Department of Social Services responded to the scene to investigate the child’s welfare, where the determination was made to arrest the parents. The child was taken to a local hospital to be treated for a severe rash on his upper torso.
“This is a prime example of how the community and Law Enforcement can work together to ensure the safety of our youth," Sheriff Harris said.
A person took a photo of Hartwick and Colon riding on the moped with the baby near the Wawa at 10626 Courthouse Road in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
The sheriff’s office says the five-month-old baby boy was taken into protective care.
In an interview with our sister station ABC7 News late Thursday afternoon, Hartwick said the moped is his only mode of transportation.
He says his wife can’t drive the moped for health reasons, but she had to go to a very important appointment.
“Honestly, if I didn’t take my child there, we would have lost our WIC, our food stamps,” Hartwick said. “We would not have that much food for ourselves to eat and my child wouldn’t have any formula.”
“All I was doing was trying to do what I can as an adult to provide for my family,” he explained. “That thing only tops out at like 25 miles an hour. I mean, you’re not going to get into a really bad accident like that.”