Cantonment Woman Charged With Child Abuse After Girl’s Uber Ride Costs More During COVID-19 :

A Cantonment woman was charged with allegedly abusing a child because her Uber ride to work cost more due to COVID-19.

Darlene Denise Smith, 55, was booked into the Escambia County Jail on charges of felony third degree child abuse and felony obstructing justice for preventing communication to a law enforcement officer. She was later released on a $2,500 bond.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office responded to a disturbance in a neighborhood off Old Chemstrand Road. Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived to find the victim crying and shaking on the front porch. The age of the victim was not listed in the arrest report, but she was listed as a relative of Smith.

She told deputies that Smith was angry that the child’s Uber ride to work cost more than normal due to COVID-19. She said she attempted to explain the difference to Smith, but her anger escalated to the point of grabbing her, scratching her neck and chest. She then pushed the child onto a bed, got on top of her and punched her several times with a closed fist, according to an arrest report.

The victim said she called 911, but Smith grabbed the phone and hung up the call before reaching a dispatcher, the report states.

Deputies noted in their report that the victim suffered numerous cuts and scratches. She refused Escambia County EMS.

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