Woman Arrested After Two-Year-Old Son Shot Himself in the Hand

by Xara Aziz
Voiced by Amazon Polly

A 39-year-old Virginia woman has been arrested and charged with felony child neglect after her two-year-old son shot and wounded himself.

Christalle Phillips Moat turned herself in to authorities earlier this month after a warrant was put out for her arrest. Prince William County Police say they were looking for her after Child Protective Services called to report that she had brought her toddler to a hospital to treat a gunshot wound.

Police went to the home to investigate the shooting and found that a shot was fired inside the home earlier that day. They say Moat’s son had shot himself in the hand after being left unattended.

Detectives filed a warrant for Moat’s arrest shortly after. It would be weeks until she turned herself in to the police.

Investigations are still ongoing.

“Child neglect is one of the most common forms of child mistreatment. It can affect a child’s physical and mental health and can lead to long-term adverse consequences,” according to Very Well Family. “Child neglect springs from many complex issues, including parental mental health, poverty, and drug and alcohol use.”

In 2018, “approximately 678,000 children in the country were deemed victims of abuse or neglect, with about 60.8% of those suffering from neglect. Moreover, the bureau estimated that 1,770 children died in 2018 from abuse or neglect,” according to the Children’s Bureau of the Department of Health and Human Services. Furthermore, a parent’s financial status may also play a role in why a child is neglected.

“A parent living in poverty, for example, who struggles to provide children with adequate food or shelter, may not be considered neglectful if the family is applying for financial assistance or if they’re doing the best with what they have. Additionally, some parents may need to leave children at home or under the care of older siblings while they work or go to school.”

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