For the second time in three months, Rock Hill police have charged the same woman with cruelty to children. Keely Tinnin, 25, is accused of allowing her 3-year-old son to wander outside their apartment alone.
Devonte Gibson, 17, doesn't consider himself a hero, but his actions early Tuesday morning could've saved the little boy's life this time. Gibson was walking around Wildwood Springs Apartments on Springdale Road around 2 a.m. Ahead of him, he saw a small child in the parking lot.
"As I got closer, I saw it was a child, and I ran down there as fast as I could, just to get him," Gibson said. "He was completely naked. He was crying, he was looking for his mother."
Gibson recognized the boy because he said he'd been out alone in the neighborhood before. He took the boy to the apartment where he knew his mother lived.
"I walked down there, and the door was open so I'm looking in, saying, ‘Hello, hello, is anybody here?' and no one answered," he said.
Gibson took the child back to his apartment, where his family put clothes on him and gave him some cereal to eat. This was the second time they'd found the child outside, and they were disturbed that it could happen again.
"As I sat there and watched him eat that cereal, I almost started crying. Anything could've happened," Gibson said.
On April 10, police arrested Tinnin when a Wildwood Springs employee found her son and another sibling out on the apartment playground that morning with no adult around. In that case, police said Tinnin told them she didn't know the children were gone, but they often left the apartment without her knowledge.
Tinnin was released from jail Tuesday on a personal recognizance bond. Outside the police department, Channel 9 spoke to her sister, Latasha Tinnin. She said Keely is not a bad mother.
"She watches my kids for me when I need her, so she's not a bad person," she said. "It makes it look bad like we don't take care of our kids, and she does take care of our kids."
Tinnin said the little boy keeps getting out of the apartment even though family members installed better locks after he got out the last time. She said they will upgrade the locks again.
"They're going to put more locks on the doors, but if he figures them out then what do you do then? Do you lock him in a room?"
Tinnin also said she believes her nephew sleepwalks, and the family plans to have him medically checked as well. She said her sister hasn't stopped crying about the incident since her arrest.
The boy was released into the custody of his father, and DSS is also involved in the case.