MARION COUNTY, Fla. - Deputies in Marion County, Florida, are thanking neighbors after they said a child was found in a home without food, a phone or access to a bathroom.
Officials said Byron McIntyre left the child alone in unsafe conditions.
A neighbor was alerted when the child saw them walking by and asked them for help.
Deputies came to the home to rescue the child. Once McIntyre arrived, he told them, "I can't put my life on hold for this child" when asked why he left the child alone, according to a report.
"We did find the juvenile in that home, unable to exit the room unless he took a sliding glass off the hinges," said Cecelia Koon of the Marion County Sheriff's Office. "It's my understanding that the child was left with a bucket for kitty litter and a water bottle."
When asked about leaving a bucket for the child to use the bathroom, McIntyre allegedly said, "DCF told him that it was OK to do that."
Neighbors said they were shocked about the arrest.
"He was always nice and helpful," said Joe Buchman. "I'm really surprised and shocked."
Investigators have not released what the relationship is between McIntyre and the child.
The age of the child has not yet been released.
Deputies do not believe this was the first time the child had been left home alone.