Report: Woman leaves 2 young kids in chilly parking lot

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By staff report

SHALIMAR — A 33-year-old woman was charged with two counts of felony child cruelty after dropping her two young children in a parking lot and going into a restaurant.

Temperatures were in the mid-40s and the children weren’t wearing jackets, according to Jana Lynn Bronson’s Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office arrest report. The wind chill was 36 degrees.

According to the report, Bronson was driving erratically and had just caused a crash. Witnesses told deputies that she pulled into the parking lot and appeared to be unaware that she’d caused an accident.

They said she was disoriented and and unable to keep her balance.

After the crash, she got two small children, dressed in jeans and long sleeve shirts, out of the back of her car. She left them in the parking lot for about 5 to 8 minutes by themselves.

When deputies contacted Bronson, she said she was unaware that her children were alone and that she thought her mother had taken them. She admitted to drinking just two sips of wine, but the deputy said she had trouble keeping her balance.

She also couldn’t find her car, even though she was only 15 to 20 feet away, the report said.

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper arrived and charged Bronson with driving under the influence. Her blood alcohol content at the time was .029, which is below the legal limit. The trooper told the deputy she had admitted to taking an unknown amount of a drug, which contributed to her behavior.

The incident happened at around 3 p.m. on Jan. 13.

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