Highland Park Mom Arrested on Child Abandonment Charge

Leslie Patman Toomay

Police have arrested a Highland Park mother on a felony charge of abandoning or endangering a child with intent to return, after discovering her infant daughter alone in their unlocked home last month.

Leslie Patman Toomay, 32, was arrested and arraigned on Thursday night. Her bond was set at $500, which she posted late Thursday, said Sgt. Lance Koppa, a spokesman for the Highland Park Department of Safety.

On Feb. 13, police responded to a burglar alarm sounding at a home in the 4500 block of Arcady Avenue. When they arrived, they found the front door open; lights and a TV were left on. A semiautomatic shotgun lay on the dining room table, and a large paper cutter lay on a kitchen counter. The back door of the home was unlocked.

Upstairs, police found the 14-month-old baby on her back on the floor, under a “mobile-type tent,” police reports say. The infant had a feeding tube in her abdomen, and appeared unable to roll over or crawl.

Police made contact with the mother approximately 15 minutes after discovering the child, and she didn’t arrive home until approximately 20 to 25 minutes later, the arrest affidavit says.

On Feb. 13, Toomay told police that she was dropping her older daughter off at a play center and that she thought that her husband was “very close” and that they were “crossing paths,” the report says. She called the incident a “miscommunication” between her and her husband, and said that “it isn’t as easy as it used to be” to take her daughter places due to the fact that she is getting heavier to load into and out of her vehicle.

Toomay also told police the infant has a medical condition that leaves her with “little strength to function,” the report says.

The arrest warrant affidavit says that Toomay “intentionally left the residence leaving her 14 month old physically, mentally and developmentally disabled child, in an upstairs bedroom without providing reasonable and necessary care for the child under circumstances that could expose the child to an unreasonable risk of harm.”

Both children remain in the custody of their parents while Child Protective Services conducts an investigation, Koppa said.

By Michelle Saunders Mar. 22, 2013 | 6:20 pm | 22 Comments | Comments RSS
22 comments to "Highland Park Mom Arrested on Child Abandonment Charge"
  1. Avid Reader @ March 23, 2013 at 8:59 am
    I feel like this is not real. Like these are the types of people you see on some low rent possibly scripted mtv show about moms. “She’s doing just great, thanks for asking. Oh, you were asking where she is, not how she is; gotcha. Well, I pretty much just stopped bringing my baby with me on errands cause she is getting so much heavier than when I first had her. Who knew how much work a baby would be and that they grow! What do you mean “what do I do with her while I’m out”? She has a mental/physical disability that makes it pretty much impossible to move on her own so I just throw her under the big mobile in her room and voila, problem solved. Sorry, I don’t have a picture of her on me right now, but if you really want to see her; feel free to run by my house, door’s open and shotgun’s on the table in case there’s a need.”

  2. i think thats terrible and she should be prosucited to the fullest extent of the law.

  3. Mom of Boys @ March 23, 2013 at 8:59 pm
    She is a monster. This is such an awful story and its bothered me since it happened. She doesn’t deserve to be a mother. Those children need to be removed immediately. Who leaves a baby? With a door unlocked? And a gun on the table? While she went to workout? At the minimum she is extremely unstable and should not have precious children in her care. Selfish, self absorbed and unfit to be a mother.

  4. DGirl @ March 24, 2013 at 8:38 am
    How long is it going to take CPS to remove these two children from this monster “mom”? What more proof do they need? And only $500 bail? What a joke, HPPD!!

    I still think something will come out about this being a “murder for hire” gone wrong (well, gone right in my mind since the toddler is still alive).

    Cattle Barron’s Ball and all the other society organizations Leslie is a member should black-ball her immediately. If she just wanted to do the society circuit, she she should have had full time help to care for her children since her priorities are clearly elsewhere.

  5. Mommy2 @ March 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm
    This makes me sick. How could anyone leave ANY child alone in a house with the doors unlocked for any amount of time? Why was there a gun on the table? Did she leave the house and accidentally turn the alarm on out of habit instead of not turning it on so that someone could come in and harm her child? Why else would a GUN be on a dining room table and a 14 month old disabled child be left alone?

    And where is the husband? Why did he not show up to speak to police?

    And boo hoo that it is getting harder to take your child out. Do you know how many people are in your exact same situation? Hire some childcare and if you can’t afford it, then move out of HP to a place you can afford so that your child can be properly cared for.

    You are a poor excuse for a mother. Sorry.

  6. SMorgan @ March 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm
    This is ridiculous. I agree with all of the above statements.

    Let me mention that this is an upperclass part of Dallas. There is no excuse for this regardless of financial status but you’d think the likliness would be lower in a neighborhood of a million dollar plus homes.

  7. MOM @ March 29, 2013 at 12:54 am
    This is disturbing in so many ways. Her cavalier attitude with Police makes it obvious this was not the first time she has done this. Her husband had left for work in Frisco-they were not crossing paths. They probably don’t take disabled children at her gym’s nursery and she wanted to workout. It is appalling behavior. If you ask her other child I’ll bet she would say they do this every morning. The gun being accessible to the other child-wouldn’t that be child endangerment? This is the second time in a year that a disabled child has been neglected/abused in the Park Cities. Sad and pathetic.

  8. Edward @ March 29, 2013 at 4:00 pm
    “Let me mention that this is an upperclass part of Dallas. There is no excuse for this regardless of financial status but you’d think the likliness would be lower in a neighborhood of a million dollar plus homes.”

    Not to get all uprighteous-y or anything, but PUHLEEEZE! Stuff like this happens to rich, poor and in-between.

    I think that statement say so much about our “bubble” attitude of supposedly being “better” than everyone else. Sorry to break the news to you, but we’re not.

  9. Eleanor @ March 30, 2013 at 10:44 pm
    As a mother myself, with one child who is special needs and the other two who are just needy, needy of my time and needy of my attention… I must ask all you other comment posters, “Do you have children? And if so, are any of them special needs?”… Because please do not judge so harshly until you have walked in this woman’s footsteps. I was downstairs cooking grilled cheese for my other two and my baby with special needs rolled down the stairs in his walker. I was there and my child was hurt and I beat myself up about that every day. Do you not think that this mother is beating her self up about this?! Nothing happened to this child while the mother was tending to the needs of her other child. Is she supposed to watch this child every second of the day and night and ignore the other child? She is the mother and knows what is best for her children. Stop acting like this woman is some terrible mother. We all make mistakes, God Bless

  10. Avid Reader @ April 1, 2013 at 10:31 am
    @Eleanor, Key part of your comment; “I was downstairs”, you were not out on the town working out and running errands. Yes, she is supposed to watch or have a responsible person watching this child every second of the day. She is a mother whether she likes it or not, and clearly doesn’t know what’s best for anyone if she thinks it is no big deal to just run a few errands while her special needs child is on the ground upstairs with the house wide open with a shotgun on the table when you walk in the house. Stop acting like this woman is anything other than a terrible mother.

  11. Kersten @ April 1, 2013 at 11:37 am
    @DGirl – you’re going to have to find another nom de blog. That one is taken. ;)

  12. Manny @ April 2, 2013 at 11:01 am
    Why would you go to the trouble of setting the alarm system and then leave both the front and back doors unlocked? That seems suspicious to me.

  13. OtherDGirl @ April 3, 2013 at 10:38 pm
    @ Eleanor – No, I don’t think this mother is “beating herself up over this”, she’s probably just embarrassed she got caught. I doubt that was the first time she left her toddler at home under no adult supervision.

    I hope you don’t condone leaving any young child at home alone, much less in an unlocked home with an assault rifle laying around. Your post made it sound like you saw nothing wrong with her leaving the toddler home alone since “nothing happened”, as you say.

    If you think what she did is ok, you’re just as bad a mother as she is. I certainly hope you are better than that!!

  14. Parkie @ April 4, 2013 at 9:21 am
    Eleanor, your story bothers me. Walkers are never safe around stairs–I thought everyone knew that. And the excuse about her child getting heavy? Give me a break. My daughter threw temper tantrums almost every day until she was about 5, and I routinely had to wrestle her into and out of her car seat as she was shrieking and hitting me. No mater how bad it was, I would never leave her at home unattended.

  15. Lydia Landfair @ November 20, 2013 at 7:33 pm
    She happens to be a friend of my grandmothers. She is not a child abuser she was a great mother to a child who had no neck mussels. She most likely would have never walked talk or be normal. Unless you walk In the shoes in the of a parent of a special child you have no idea of the time patience and love involved. My grandmother raised my mentally challenged deaf and blind uncle until he died at 24 and nine months. You all say she was a terrible mother but you have no right to judge her.

  16. Avid Reader @ November 21, 2013 at 10:14 am
    @Lydia Landfair,
    The second she left her 14 month old child at home alone she gave everyone the right to judge her a terrible mother.

  17. HPMother @ November 21, 2013 at 1:17 pm
    I am a mother in HP. And I DAILY see other mothers checking the mail, walking next door, “running” out to their cars while babies are safely in the home, even standing out front of their homes with a glass of wine talking to their neighbors. The bottom line: they are not in the home. I can’t believe how many judgmental comments I just read. I don’t think anyone on here knows the “true story”…there is often three sides to a story. I call myself a Christian and would embrace a mistake like this as an opportunity to correct it, not to be hateful and judgmental towards others. I see lapses in parenting every single day in “Highland Park” (which should have no merit to the story)…what makes one mistake worse than the other? All are mistakes, and everyone makes them. Shame on the finger-pointers, ride your high horse back to where you park it.

  18. Avid Reader @ November 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm
    @HPMother, I would love to hear how “checking the mail, walking next door, “running” out to their cars while babies safely in the home” is the same thing as leaving your 14 month old baby in an unlocked home while you drive 20 minutes across town to run an errand.

  19. Another HPMother @ November 21, 2013 at 4:38 pm
    Judging others is not a “right”. It’s actually a “wrong”.

  20. Avid Reader @ November 22, 2013 at 10:04 am
    @Another HPMother, I’ll substitute “rate” for “judge” if that makes you feel better. The situation is clearly drawn out in the articles/arrest warrant. If you can read the facts and still give this woman a pass or think it’s just a “mistake” then feel free to drop off your kids off to my babysitting service out of my home; we charge $15 an hour, door’s open, alarm’s off, shotgun’s on the table, just toss your kid under the mobile in the playroom upstairs and I’ll be home 20-25 minutes after the first police contact call.

  21. Another HPMother @ November 22, 2013 at 12:57 pm
    I get it. I don’t live under a rock. This isn’t about me feeling better. Rate or judge, they are the same thing. If it makes you feel better to rate people then be my guest.

  22. Avid Reader @ November 22, 2013 at 3:04 pm
    @Another HPMother, Makes me feel terrible that there are both people out there that would endanger a child to the extent of this mother and also people that actually defend her actions.

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