Spring Valley mom accused of tying 4-year-old son to bush speaks out

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Jim Hoffer has her side of the story. (WABC)

A Spring Valley mother facing child endangerment charges for allegedly tying her 4-year-old son to a bush is speaking out, and she says the photo that captured the incident does not tell the whole story.

The mother, 22-year-old Mery Isabel Quinde-Castro, tell Eyewitness News that she would never do anything to harm her son, and she wants people to stop judging her.

"It's not that I'm a bad mother," she said. "If I was a bad mother, I wouldn't love him. I don't know why they're on Facebook and all of that, that I'm a bad mother...I have to work in order to survive. I don't want to take anything from the government."

Little Ramsey remains in her custody following the arrest, with police saying Castro tied her son to the bush with a monkey backpack and left him there unsupervised for 20 minutes near an apartment where she was babysitting.

But the mother says the child refused to go inside, so she tethered him to the bush for only five to 10 minutes while she says she continued to take the trash out at the home.

"It was around five minutes, because I was looking at him through the window," she said. "We went to throw out the trash first, and he did not want to come back to pick up more trash. I left him there to entertain himself with my phone. When I came back, police were there."

A resident called 911 around 9 a.m. after seeing the child, and a maintenance worker also spotted the boy just as police were responding.

The boy was not hurt, but an ambulance was called the scene as a precaution.

"I work to pay for everything and to maintain him and buy him everything," she said. "I've never left him before. He goes outside, he plays and comes back in."

She added that while tethering him to a bush looked bad, it was safer than letting him run around. She said tying him was a last-minute thought while trying to get her job done.

"If I had left him alone and wasn't watching him, than yes (he could have been in danger), but I was watching him," she said. "I only went inside to get the trash and bring it back out, and that's when the police came."

Quinde-Castro appeared in court Thursday on the misdemeanor charge, with the judge ordering her to take parenting classes. He signed a limited order of protection, but the child will remain in her custody. Bail was reduced to $500, and the case was adjourned to July 30.

Rockland County Social Services says in cases like this, they work with the parent to help ensure safe supervision of the child. The goal, officials say, is to help the parent find options.

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familychild abusemother chargedSpring Valley
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