Couple arrested, accused of drug use while toddler locked out of house


POLK COUNTY, Fla. - A woman and her boyfriend were arrested after Polk County Sheriff's deputies said they locked the woman's 3-year-old child outside their residence while they were using drugs.

Rhonda Branch, 25, and Antonio Allen, 26, were arrested Wednesday evening after neighbors called to report that the child was locked out of the home for over an hour and was crying, deputies said.

According to deputies the young boy was upset and banging on the door of the home.

Deputies said they knocked on the door and windows of the home for 10 to 15 minutes before getting a response from Branch and Allen.

According to deputies, the home smelled of marijuana and the couple admitted to smoking marijuana and ingesting nitrous oxide.

Branch and Allen told deputies they did not know the child was locked out of the house. Branch told deputies the little boy has gotten out of the house, which sits on busy road, twice in the past two weeks.

Branch and Allen were charged with child neglect, possession of marijuana,  inhaling harmful chemicals, maintaining a home for drug use and possession of paraphernalia. Both were booked into the Polk County Jail.

Deputies said Branch has no prior arrests in Polk County but Allen has a number of previous charges and has spent time in the Florida State Prison system.