BATON ROUGE - According to documents obtained by The Investigative Unit, a woman accused of abandoning a child at the Cortana Mall Walmart Friday morning was served last week with papers in a lawsuit filed by someone trying to take custody of four of her children.
Chenetra Washington, 32, was booked with child desertion Friday.
According to the arrest report, Washington allegedly brought her 3-year-old son into the Walmart with her. Police say surveillance video shows her leave the store and get into the passenger side door of a car, without any attempt to find her son.
A Walmart employee found the boy, who was unable to communicate with police or store employees. Nearly five hours later, Washington returned to the store and was taken into custody and charged with child desertion.
During an interview with investigators Friday evening, deputies say she admitted to leaving the store with a friend to have sex. The arrest report also says Washington told police she left the child in hopes someone would find him, and take better care of him then she could.
According to court documents, she is in the midst of a custody battle over four of her other children.
In that suit, which was filed last month in Family Court, Gale Edwards claims Washington is not a responsible parent:
"She threaten to cut the kids up and cook them, she puts them out of the house for weeks at a time, set a mattress on fire inside of the apartment, bites the kids. Her 13 yr. old daughter has been living with me since Sept. 2015. Leaves the children at home unsupervised, allows them to roam the streets unsupervised and not knowing their whereabouts...She punches the children in the face and forehead. She is in mental facility being evaluated at the present time.”
Court records indicate Washington was served with the paperwork alerting her to that lawsuit on April 1.
Another set of records indicates Washington has a son who is about 2 ½ years old. In 2014, Washington filed a domestic violence suit against his father. A judge initially issued a restraining order to keep Washington and the father apart, but let the order expire after Washington failed to return to court.