A Spotsylvania County couple received felony convictions Monday, but no prison time for traveling with their 5-month-old son on moped last year.
Cane A. Hartwick Jr., 27, and Athena N. Colon, 25, were both convicted of child neglect in Spotsylvania Circuit Court. Both entered Alford pleas, which means they don’t admit guilt, but acknowledge there is sufficient evidence for a conviction.
Both received suspended three-year prison terms and agreed to conditions that include random home visits from social service workers.
According to the evidence presented by prosecutor Amanda Sweeney, the county’s emergency communications center received a number of calls on Oct. 18 from residents who were concerned after seeing an infant traveling on a moped. The moped was driven by Hartwick and the baby was strapped to Colon’s chest with a baby carrier.
The adults were wearing helmets, but the child was not, Sweeney said.
Deputies caught up with the moped at the Lookout Terrace Apartments off Overview Drive in Spotsylvania and arrested the parents.
The plea agreement states that Colon told deputies they were heading to the Stafford County courthouse area that day for an appointment regarding the family’s food stamps and other benefits. She said they made it into Stafford, but turned around because the baby was getting fussy and because they weren’t going to make it to the appointment on time.
Hartwick told deputies that he was not aware that it was against the law to have the child on a scooter. When asked if he thought it was a good idea to have the baby unsecured without a helmet, Hartwick did not respond, court papers state.
Attorney Nathanael Buczek represented Hartwick, while attorney Mark D’Antonio represented Colon.