BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (PBP) -- A Boynton Beach police officer was called to a hospital Friday to investigate a possible case of child neglect. The officer found a 3-year-old boy severely malnourished, and when the officer told the parents the boy would be in the hospital for days, at the least, the mother said they were busy and planned on working backstage at the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Thomas Phillips, 37, and his girlfriend Champagne Gillis, 31, face a charge of child abuse.
Police were called to JFK Medical Center in Atlantis on Friday and were immediately told the child was going to be moved to the emergency room at Palms West Children Hospital because of severe malnourishment.
The boy was described as weighing less than 25 pounds, and he had sores in his mouth which made it difficult for the boy to swallow. Gillis told police she brought the boy to the hospital because he was feeling ill. He had diarrhea and a 102-degree fever for about seven days before the hospital visit, according to an arrest report.
Gillis told police her son doesn’t like solid food so he’s only had apple sauce or milk since birth. She isn’t happy with the doctor her son was seeing, so she has since turned to homeopathic medicine which she learned about from a doctor she met while “playing role-play/board games” in West Palm Beach, the officer wrote in the report.
The boy doesn’t like toothbrushes, the mother told police, so she hasn’t brushed his teeth. And she figured her son just bit his tongue and the sores would heal.
When the officer told Gillis her son might be in the hospital for days, she said she had a prior engagement and would have to get the boy’s grandmother to watch him so she and Philips could assist backstage for the Rocky Horror Picture Show, which is playing the bar Respectable Street in downtown West Palm Beach.
Gillis also told police she smokes marijuana daily but keeps it away from her son by smoking it in the bedroom while the boy is with his father in another room.
The two were booked into jail over the weekend and have since been released after posting a $3,000 bond each, jail records show.
The state Department of Children and Families has opened an investigation into the couple, the report says.