Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas has filed felony child abuse counts against a Mesa stripper who left her toddlers alone while she visited a boyfriend.
Samantha Abernathy, who turns 21 this week, returned to her Mesa apartment about 10:45 a.m. last Sunday, admitting to waiting police officers that she'd been gone since 2 a.m.
Police had been called to the apartment after the tykes, ages 2 and 3, were found wandering around the complex. Police initially reported that one of the kids had eaten from a bag of dog food after being let in to the apartment.
However, Mesa police later told New Times the shocking detail was an exaggeration: The kid reached into the bag but was stopped by an officer from eating anything. Police don't know whether the kids had previously eaten dog food while their mom was away. Not that the real story makes Abernathy look any better:
Thomas' office says, "police observed feces and urine stains all over the floor in the childrens' bedroom." The office has filed a direct complaint, charging the young mom with two felony counts of child abuse and one count of misdemeanor "permitting the life or health of a minor to be imperiled."
Abernathy's like a real-life version of the main character in "The Garden of Last Days." But at least Andre Dubus' "April" takes her toddler to the strip club with the hope that someone will watch her. In the book, the fictional kid wanders off and disappears (we don't know how it ends yet).
In real life, the stripper gets lucky: The kids are dirty and hungry, but found safe. They're now reportedly in the custody of one of their fathers.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.