An employee of a shopping center near 43rd Avenue and Cactus Road called Phoenix police on Friday to report that a woman and small child were panhandling in the parking lot of a Fry's grocery store.
According to court documents, 28-year-old Caltalin Marin admitted to using his wife and 5-year-old child "as sympathy" to beg for money and food. Turns out, police had been called to this exact situation last month, and another employee of the shopping center said they're out there all the time.
Police noted that the shopping center is very close to a main intersection, and there have been calls of fights, car accidents, and violations of orders of protection in this parking lot, leading them to believe a 5-year-old shouldn't be out there by himself begging for money for his father.
Marin was arrested on a felony count of child neglect, while his wife was not arrested, although she's considered a suspect. Police believe Marin is in the country illegally from Romania.