Mother arrested after allegedly abandoning child on roadside

Mar 06, 2017
Courtesy of: Mattapoisett Police Department Marina Johnson is accused of leaving her 11-year-old son on the side of the road in Mattapoisett.

Mattapoisett — An 11-year-old boy was allegedly abandoned on the side of the road in Mattapoisett on Friday night. Now, the child’s mother, Marina Johnson, has been arrested and charged with reckless endangerment of a child and child abandonment.

Police were called around 8:45 p.m. after the boy knocked on the door of a Mattapoisett Neck Road home asking for a ride to New Bedford.

Sgt. Robert Boivin and Officer Kristen Tavares were dispatched to the residence and said they found the boy shaking and crying, dressed in a jacket, jeans and work boots but no gloves or hat. Police said it was 26 degrees and windy at the time.

According to the officers, the boy said he was in the car with his mother and his 8-year-old brother when his mother got mad at him because he always “acts up.” The child said his mother told him to get out of the car and shut the door, which he did. He tried to catch up, but she sped away too fast for him to catch up. He knocked on the closest door he could find.

The boy reportedly told police that his house burned down a few weeks ago, and his family has been living at a New Bedford shelter. Department of Child and Family Services and New Bedford Police were notified.

The New Bedford Police, with help from Leblanc and Tavares, searched for Johnson and found the Lexus she was reportedly driving. The car had been reported as stolen.

Mattapoisett and New Bedford officers found Johnson at the shelter. She ran inside and exited out of a side door with her 8-year-old son. Johnson was found knee deep in water and mud in a marsh, according to police. She was arrested and transported to the New Bedford Police Department and then transferred to the Mattapoisett Police Station, where she was charged with reckless endangerment of a child under 18, a misdemeanor; and abandonment of a child without support, a felony. She was held on $10,000 bail until her arraignment.

Johnson was arraigned in the Wareham District Court on Monday. She plead not guilty, was held on $25,000 bail and was transported to Framingham State Prison.

The Department of Children and Families placed the boys in foster care.

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