According to a statement released this afternoon by Lt. Scott Peebles, Jessica Lynn Chavous, 24, was arrested about 12:30 p.m. on a charge of cruelty to children in the second degree. She was being held without bond at the Richmond County jail.
According to a statement released by Lt. Peebles, the charge stemmed from the Friday dog attack on the 3600 block of Belair Road when her unattended child climbed into the backyard of a neighboring residence. The child remains in critical condition at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.
During the investigation, Lt. Peebles' statement said, officers learned that on July 3 the same child was nearly struck by a passing motorist on Belair Road in front of the home.
The motorist, who called the Sheriffs Office, stated that no adults were outside with the child, and that no one in the home knew the child was outside. The motorist took the child to the front door to return him to the mother.
Officers also obtained statements that acknowledged family members and Ms. Chavous knew that the 2-year-old could not only successfully manipulate the gate to free himself from the deck, but that he could also climb the gate to escape, and had done so many times before, Lt. Peebles' statement said.