Phenix City couple arrested in FL on alleged child neglect charges

Phenix City couple arrested in FL on alleged child neglect charges

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, FL (WTVM) – A Phenix City couple was arrested and charged in Florida late last week for allegedly leaving a foster child in their care in the sun for so long that the child was crying to be let inside.

According to Volusia County, FL Sheriff's Office arrest reports, Rebecca El-Rhazouani, 32, and Mounir El-Rhazouani, 31, both of Phenix City, were arrested on May 14 when police responded to the Hawaiian Inn on a well-being check.

According to the reports, employees of the hotel said they witnessed a child by the pool who appeared to be sunburned and dehydrated. The employee who called said the parents refused to take the child out of the sun on multiple occasions since they checked into the hotel on May 12.

The couple had two children in their care, ages 5 and 2, and both are foster children.

On May 14, when police went on a third wellness check, they found the couple near the pool drinking and not with the children. When asked where the children were, Rebecca told the responding officer that the children were in their room sleeping without adult supervision.

Police body camera video obtained by Orlando news station WKMG shows the couple at the pool drinking when approached by police.

The hotel's security told the responding officer that the child was in so much pain from the sun "that it was literally running to that door" and "screaming, trying to get into the door, and the father would not take the child inside."

When the children were checked on, they were near a switchblade, a pocket knife, a corkscrew, dishes and easy access to a sliding glass door.

The parents were also very intoxicated during their detainment. Both were charged with two counts of child endangerment and booked in the Volusia County Jail on $2,000 bond apiece. Both have bonded out of jail.

Following the arrest of their foster parents, the two children were taken into the custody of the Department of Children and Families, according to the arrest report.

No work on a set court date for the couple on these charges.

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