Cranston woman charged with child neglect after toddler almost drowns in pool, family comes to her defense

Police say the mother was in the basement doing laundry and smoking marijuana at the time.

CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE) – Cranston police say a woman was arrested Monday afternoon and charged with child neglect after her two-year-old child nearly drowned in a backyard pool.

Officers responded to a residence at Wescott Place around 2:00 p.m. when the two-year-old was found unresponsive and face down in the swimming pool.

The baby’s mother, identified as Jacqueline Ciccone, 36, allegedly left the child and her three other young siblings under the supervision of her 11-year-old daughter.

Ciccone indicated to authorities that she was in the basement, doing laundry and smoking marijuana when the 11-year-old said she could not find her 2-year-old sister.  Ciccone then saw the child facedown in the pool through a window.

ABC6 spoke with the uncle of the toddler on Tuesday- who quickly came to Ciccone’s defense.

He did not want to show his face on camera or give his name- but says he wants people to stop judging the family, adding these incidents happen even if marijuana is not involved in the situation.

According to Major Todd Patalano with the Cranston Police Department, the pool was above ground.

“The child was able to get on the ladder and climb up onto that pool. It’s just a stark reminder to anybody that has children that you can’t take your eyes off them for one minute, they can’t be unsupervised for one second.”

A next-door neighbor, who police say is a registered nurse in the military, heard screaming and rushed over. She provided CPR to the infant until authorities arrived.

The child was transported to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, where she is currently in the Intensive Care Unit. Authorities believe she had been in the water for less than ten minutes, and likely would not have lived without the actions of the neighbor.

“That woman there is a hero,” Major Patalano said. “She saved the life of that 2-year old girl.”

The Cranston Police Special Victims Unit, as well as the Department of Children, Youth and Families are investigating.

Cranston Police did not specify if the mother obtained the marijuana legally or illegally, but they did say this:

“You have to remember, in this day of age, people can obtain a medical card, there’s not much the police department can do about it, but people who use it should obviously take extra precaution especially when supervising children.”

The other children are in the custody of their father.

Ciccone was arraigned on one count of child neglect. She has been released on personal recognizance and is set to appear for a bail review August 5.

If convicted, Ciccone will be guilty of a felony and could face a year in prison and/or a fine of $1,000.

Categories: Cranston, News, Rhode Island