Police: Toddler left alone at park

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

NORCROSS -- A toddler has been taken into the custody of child services after her parents reportedly left her unattended for several hours at a Norcross park, officials said.

When the parents finally arrived at the park, police said the father was "intoxicated and aggressive," as the mother was arrested on another pending warrant.

Norcross police first responded to Thrasher Park -- near the intersection of Norcross-Tucker Road and Holcomb Bridge Road -- just before 6 p.m. Saturday, when a concerned mother reported the 2-year-old girl had been unattended for the better part of an hour.

According to a police report, the young girl was frightened and did not know where she lived.

"She told me her dad had left her at the park and did not come back," the responding officer wrote. "She began to cry and said she wanted to go home."

While officers continued to circle the small park, the girl was carried to the nearby police station and the Department of Family and Child Services was contacted.

At about 7:50 p.m., almost three hours after the child was last seen with an adult, her parents were located at the park.

"They both insisted they had been at the park the entire time," the report read.

There was a strong odor of alcohol coming from both parents, 29-year-old mother Teresa Menefee and 31-year-old father Shannon Grose, police said.

Menefee was determined to have a current Gwinnett County arrest warrant out for larceny, and was taken into custody. While being interviewed by police, Grose reportedly became so aggressive that the DFCS representative asked not to be left alone with him.

Ultimately, Menefee and Grose were arrested and charged with first-degree cruelty to children. Neither had posted bond Monday afternoon.

The toddler was taken into the custody of child services. Grose's sister took custody of the couple's three other children, police said.