A Clover woman who was babysitting two children is charged with child neglect and drug charges after the children went for a joyride in her car and crashed into a tree.
The children, ages 6 and 9, were not injured in the crash on Mosteller Street in Clover, according to Clover Police Chief Randy Grice.
Mary Frances Harmon, 30, was arrested Thursday by Clover police officers after the kids were found. Harmon never called police to say the boy, 9, and his sister were missing, Grice said.
The older child told police Harmon “Takes care of them” while their mother is at work. Harmon is the roommate of the children’s mother. Police said the children were missing for about two hours.
The older child, whom police said was the driver, told police after the crash that Harmon told them she was leaving them unattended to go meet someone around lunchtime Thursday, a police report shows.
In exclusive video at Harmon’s appearance Friday at the courthouse in York, at the Moss Justice Center, Harmon cried and said the older child took her keys.
Harmon slumped to the floor of the courtroom after being told by Magistrate Judge Chisa Putman that she was given a $16,000 bond. The bond includes $6,500 each for the two child neglect charges, and $3,000 for the two drug charges.
“Isn’t there a way I can get out?” Harmon asked as she cried.
Harmon is charged with neglect because she had charge of the children at the time, and for “failing to notify anyone of the missing children,” police reports say.
A Clover officer, who had been called about a child driving, spotted the brown Nissan on Ruby Street near a Clover trailer park, the police report says. The officer “attempted to catch up to the vehicle and observed the vehicle strike a tree just off the roadway and come to rest,” the report states.
When police located the children’s mother at work, she came to the scene with Harmon, who had gone to the restaurant to tell the mother about the missing children.
Harmon told police she went to a resource center and stopped at a store to get an energy drink before reporting to the child’s mother. In an interview with police, Harmon told officers she noticed the children were gone when she got out of the shower, an incident report shows.
Hydrocodone pills -- an opioid narcotic -- were found in the crashed car. After Harmon was arrested and taken to the York County jail for booking, police found another drug pill inside Harmon’s clothing, the incident report shows.