Mom charged with leaving son, 6, alone 1 hour on boat at night in Berlin

Staff report


A 31-year-old Louisville, Ohio, woman will be arraigned at 11 a.m. Thursday in Sebring Court on a child-endangering charge after she reportedly left her 6-year-old son unattended on a boat for more than an hour late Thursday evening at a Berlin Reservoir campground.

Erika Blakely faces the first-degree misdemeanor charge after being arrested by Mahoning County sheriff’s deputies at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campground off Bedell Road. She was released from the county jail Friday on a $1,250 bond.

Witnesses reported seeing the boat pull into shore about 11 p.m., then heard the boy, who was wet, shivering and clad only in a swimsuit, crying for help from the boat about 11:25 p.m. The witnesses said they pulled the boy ashore, wrapped him in a blanket and called 911.

A deputy sheriff arrived at 11:45 p.m., placed the boy in a cruiser and turned up the heat to warm him.

Another deputy had to pull the boat back to shore at 11:57 p.m. because it wasn’t tied to anything, the sheriff’s department report said.

Blakely arrived on the scene at 12:05 a.m., telling deputies she had been away from the boat for only 10 minutes, the report said.

The boy was released to relatives after Berlin Township firefighters cleared him medically.

Mahoning County deputy sheriffs conduct regular land- and boat-patrols at the reservoir.

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