Charlotte County woman faces child neglect charge after firing gun, leaving infant home alone

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
Victoria Hidalgo. Credit: Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office

A Port Charlotte woman fired a gun into her front door from inside her home and then headed to the bar, leaving her baby alone on Thanksgiving night, deputies say.

Neighbors told WINK News that Victoria Hidalgo has always appeared to be a great mother to her two-year-old son who’s disabled. That’s why they’re shocked.

One neighbor said she spent time with Hidalgo just two days before the incident and hopes people hold off on judging her.

Deputies say Hidalgo fired a gun inside her apartment. The bullet getting lodged in the front door. They say she then left her baby in the crib before heading out to a local bar.

Charlotte County Sheriff’s deputies went to the home late Thanksgiving night after receiving a call from a woman who had gone to check on Hidalgo and found a bullet lodged in the front door. The woman said that Hidalgo had called her, “sounded as though she was under the influence of alcohol,” and said she had fired a gun inside the home, prompting the woman to head over and check on her.

Upon arrival, the woman noticed that their shared vehicle was not parked out front and found the bullet in the front door. She let deputies inside, where they discovered a child left in a crib unsupervised.

Neighbor Lauren Schmidt said, “it shocks me that she left the baby alone because she’s always there with the baby.”

Schmidt said she noticed Hidalgo was very upset just days before Thanksgiving and invited her over for dinner. “Totally stressed out, yeah, she was very upset,” said Schmidt. “You know, she has a disabled son. You know, the poor child has gone through 10 operations and he’s two.”

Schmidt also said Hidalgo revealed to her why she had the gun. “She said that, you know, she had it for protection, that she was concerned about someone in particular.”

None of the neighbors heard the gunshot.

Annie Snorton, the woman right next door said she had family over that same day for Thanksgiving. “If it was a gun fired, it could have, a bullet could have came on into my apartment.”

Deputies say Hidalgo’s baby is now in the care of another family member.

“They told me later on that night that she was OK and the baby was OK. So, I was happy to know that,” said Snorton.

Hidalgo was taken to the Charlotte County Jail and faces a charge of child neglect without great bodily harm. She is currently out on a $3,500 bond.

WINK News spoke with Hidalgo in front of her apartment on Thursday. We asked her if she wanted to share anything with us about what happened that day. She said no thank you.

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