A Walnut Creek woman who authorities say abandoned her 6-year-old son at Union Station last week pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of child endangerment, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Dava Denise Webster, 31, was charged with one felony count of child endangerment, according to prosecutors. A preliminary hearing for Webster was set for July 27.
Webster was with her son at Union Station in downtown L.A. on the Fourth of July when she left the child alone at the train depot, according to the district attorney’s office. A security guard approached the boy and police were called.
The boy, who was unable to communicate with police and bystanders, had been sitting with a woman for roughly four hours at a station restaurant before she walked out of the building, witnesses said.
A Cafe Crepe server saw the woman leave the boy and called out to her, asking for her to come back, said Adrienne Garrett, a restaurant supervisor.
“The woman completely ignored my server,” Garrett said. “So I thought ‘This is wrong. Something’s going on.’”
Los Angeles police posted a tweet asking for the public’s help in identifying the boy or his family members. Police estimated that he was between 5 and 7 years old and appeared to be deaf and autistic.
Webster came back to the station the following day and Los Angeles police took her into custody, authorities said. Police thanked the media and community members for publicizing the child’s story, which helped them find the boy’s family members.
The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services is working with family members to determine who will obtain custody of the child, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office said.
Webster’s bail remains at $100,000. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of six years in prison.
The case remains under investigation by the LAPD.
5:20 p.m.: This article was updated with information about Webster’s plea and some additional background about the allegations.
This article was originally published at 1:35 p.m.