by: Mike Petchenik Updated:ROSWELL, Ga. —
Roswell police have charged a mother and grandmother after they said the pair failed to supervise two children who ended up walking down a busy road.
Temerria Peterson and Gloria Howard were cited for reckless conduct Tuesday after police found 11- and 6-year-old girls at a gas station on Holcomb Bridge Road.
Daniel Sergile told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik he noticed the girls walking by themselves after stopping at the BP station to get a drink.
"Something must be wrong here," Sergile said he thought of the situation. "When you see an 11-year-old and 6-year-old walking by themselves, as a father, the very first question is: 'Where are your parents at?' "
Sergile said when the girls couldn't give him an honest answer and then asked him for a ride
, he called 911 to report the girls to police.
"Most kids wouldn't take a ride from a stranger, let alone talk to a stranger," he said.
Officer Lisa Holland told Petchenik investigators learned the girls had missed their bus and instead of going back home to ask for a ride, they decided to make the 3-mile walk by themselves along a busy road with few sidewalks in parts.
She said Peterson and Howard admitted they had been sleeping and didn't get up with the kids in the morning.
"Nobody would have realized until the end of school that they were missing," Holland said. "The principal didn't know if they were coming to school or not."
Holland said the same situation occurred in August, but police didn't file charges in that case.
After the second occurrence, she said they decided to charge Peterson and Howard, and have notified the Department of Family and Children Services about the situation.
A man who identified himself as the children's father told Petchenik neither woman would comment on the case. But he told Petchenik that police had gotten it wrong.
Sergile said he's thankful he's the person who spotted the children.
"I'm a father of soon to be two, uncle of six," he said. "It could have been someone completely different and today's situation could have completely changed."