CLERMONT, Fla. – A father arrested for child neglect after leaving his little girl alone in the aisle of a Central Florida Walmart told Local 6 it was all a big misunderstanding.
Clermont police said 35-year-old Aramis Saunders, of Leesburg, left his girl sitting in a cart in the clock and picture aisle Aug. 27.
"I am a good father," Saunders told Local 6.
The arrest report said his 2-year-old sat for 23 minutes -- from 6:02 to 6:25 p.m. -- until two worried customers found her.
"When I came back, my little girl wasn't there. I didn't leave her for 23 minutes," said Saunders. "It's frightening. That's one thing, it's very frightening. I tell a lot of people, I don't want nothing to happen to my little girl."
Customers who found the child took her to Walmart workers.
According to the report, when Saunders arrived, he told them "he went to the bathroom and thought she was with her mother," but police looked at the store's security cameras and said he did not go to the bathroom and "the mother was never in sight of Aramis before he left the child alone."
Saunders later changed his story and told police that he called his wife to get their daughter but left before she arrived, officials said.
"She was coming down already. I already called her. She was coming down through the aisles," insisted Saunders, who said he called and told his wife to get their child in the aisle, but she never did.
Saunders and his wife met at the front of the store and realized that neither of them had the girl, so they began looking for her, police said.
Security cameras showed him going to the front of the store, and stopping at the ATM.
Police said there's no excuse for leaving his little girl unattended.
"I haven't been a bad father, so I expect this to be the first and last time this happens," said Saunders. "It's going to be a good learning lesson for other parents."
Saunders was arrested and taken to the Lake County Jail.