A Waterbury man was arrested after police said he used a 3-year-old girl to beg for money outside a gas station in Wolcott.
Witnesses told police a man was begging for money outside of a Cumberland Farms Store on Meriden Road with a 3-year-old girl. They said the man appeared to be drunk or high and they were worried about the safety of the child.
The officer at the scene said the man, later identified as Thomas Borucki of Waterbury, had walked from Cumberland Farms and was about to cross the busy roadway with the young girl.
The officer stopped Borucki and the young girl from crossing the road.
According to police, Borucki "smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech, and an unsteady gait." Borucki allegedly told police that he was on Methadone due to heroin use, but had also been drinking during the day.
"You can't bring a kid into the picture," said Wolcott resident Harold Epstein. "I don't understand how people could do something like that."
The 3-year-old girl is the daughter of Boruki's girlfriend. Police said Borucki told them that his girlfriend had taken a nap and the young girl was crying, so he decided to take her for a donut, but did not have money, which was the reason he was begging for money.
"There's no real explanation for that," said Alexa Frageau, a Wolcott resident. "I think it's ridiculous. I don't know how someone could do that."
The mother of the child told police that Borucki was supposed to take the girl to a park within the apartment complex where they lived and he should not have been on Meriden Road with her.
One worker at the gas station told Eyewitness News that Borucki is a regular there and she always noticed how "good" he was to the little girl.
The mother was brought to the scene and was able to bring the child back home with her.
This is not Borucki's first run-in with the law. Police said he has been arrested 12 times since 2002.
Borucki was arrested and charged with breach of peace and risk of injury to a minor.
He was appeared at Waterbury Superior Court Wednesday. His bond was set for $25,000 and he is due back in court on Aug. 9.
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