Florida Mom Arrested For Leaving Her Two Young Daughters Alone At The Beach For 30 Minutes

She claimed that she only left them while she parked the car.

beach, mother, children, alone NadyaEugene, 20Ka74 / Shutterstock 

A mother of two young girls sent shockwaves across media after it was revealed that she left them unsupervised near a body of water for an extended period of time. 

Bystanders noticed the girls playing by themselves, with one of them being found waist-deep in the water by the time anyone noticed that adults were not watching them. The mother is now facing three criminal charges and outrage from fellow parents learning about her story. 


Patricia Anne Bronson, 41 left her young daughters on the beach near the water while she parked the car. 

Bronson, who works as a lawyer in Tampa, was arrested on October 14, 2023 after witnesses reported that her three- and seven-year-old daughters were left unsupervised on the beach for at least half an hour. 



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When one witness noticed the seven-year-old alone and asked where her sister was, she “pointed to the water,” per the arrest report. The witness raced into the water and discovered the three-year-old girl already “waist-deep” in the water. 

After some convincing, they were able to coax the little girl out of the water and instructed her to stay near her sister. 

When Bronson was arrested, she told deputies that she had only left the girls on the beach while she parked the car, but admitted to knowing that no one was looking after them as she did so. 

When the mother was being booked at the Pinellas County Jail, deputies noticed that she was “acting nervous and fidgeting” upon asking her if she was hiding anything. Although she claimed that she was just cold, a small vape pen containing a liquid substance was discovered tucked into one of her body cavities as she passed through an X-ray machine (you should be able to fill in the blanks as to where exactly the vape pen was hidden). 


Bronson was eventually released on a $15,000 bond the following day, according to jail records.

A spokesperson for White & Case LLP, the company where Bronson works as a lawyer, released a statement to the Tampa Bay Times claiming that they would look into the matter. 

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Upon hearing the story, most parents could not even fathom leaving their children alone for more than a few seconds, yet alone so close to a body of water. 

“I have major anxiety when my boys aren’t in sight,” one TikTok user shared. “It just goes to show you that common sense and book learning is not the same thing,” another user noted of Bronson’s career and her decision. 


Even though we can all agree that what Bronson did was inexcusable, considering that children can drown in less than a minute, this does not make her a bad person, or even a bad mother. 

Every parent has had a moment where they believed that it would be much easier to leave the kids for a few moments while they have to park the car, run into a coffee shop, or just have a little bit of silence to clear their heads without the kids’ distractions. Even if they have never acted on it, it doesn’t mean that the thought has ever crossed their mind. 

According to psychology, mistakes are crucial in our lives and enhance our knowledge so that we know what we can do better next time. Bronson may have assumed that she would not take long parking the car and that her children would be fine if she left them unsupervised on the beach until she did so. 


Given what happened, which thankfully did not end as tragically as it could have, it is safe to say that Bronson will not repeat this mistake, and will just take her children with her next time she needs to park the car. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.