Bond set for mother after toddler found alone

A $5,000 bond was set Tuesday for a woman whose toddler allegedly got out of their house on the east side of Pine Bluff early Sunday morning.

Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth set the bond after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge Tashara Bankston, 19, with endangering the welfare of a minor.

Detective Jerry Lambert said in a probable cause affidavit that Bankston allegedly told police and investigators from the Department of Human Services she had used drugs the night before the incident and allegedly tested positive on a drug test administered by DHS.

According to the affidavit, police were sent to the 800 block of Colorado Street at about 2 a.m. to check a report that there was a child in the street.

When officers arrived, they found the toddler, a 2-year-old male, crying and alone, and initial attempts to locate a parent or guardian were unsuccessful.

After DHS was called, officers were going door to door when Bankston walked up and said the boy was hers, Lambert said in the affidavit.

In addition to the 2-year-old, a 1-year-old that was in the house was also taken into custody by DHS, and in court on Tuesday, Bridgforth ordered Bankston to have no contact with the children until the case is settled.