Mother speaks about leaving child unattended at hospital
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- The mother of a young autistic boy who was dropped off at a South Florida hospital appeared in court to explain why she left her son alone.
On Saturday morning, a dependency hearing was held for 10-year-old Benjamin, who was dropped off at Broward General Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale at around noon Friday. A hospital employee found Benjamin wandering in the waiting room and informed police, who issued a public plea for help in finding Benjamin's parents.
In Saturday's hearing, Benjamin's mother, Amanda Mathe, said she could no longer care for her autistic son. "I tried everything I could with raising Benjamin," said Mathe. "I didn't know what else to do. I was evicted. I had to get out of my place yesterday."
Mathe mentioned that Benjamin has serious behavioral and medical issues. "He gets very violent on reactions to any medication," she said.
According to Mathe, she sought help from local shelters but was turned away. The mother of three said she did not know what to do, so she asked a friend to drop off Benjamin at Broward General. Mathe said, "I did not know that he did not give a name, but I thought it was just with the same process in giving his name, because I told his father that if I could not handle this, I'd have to put him in DCF."
Amanda Mathe and Benjamin's father, Erick Mathe, recently separated. Erick Mathe moved to Monroe County and left Amanda Mathe and the couple's three children behind in South Florida. "On the day that we moved in, it was, 'Here's Ben. Bye-bye,' so I had all three kids," said Mathe. "When I was trying to contact Mr. Mathe, he wouldn't return any calls, he wouldn't return my e-mails."
According to Erick Mathe, he found out about Friday's incident after he saw his son on the news. He now wants custody of all three children.
Benjamin will remain in the custody of the Department of Children and Families until a hearing Monday.
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