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A Florida mother was hit with criminal charges this week after police discovered cocaine on her 3-year-old son’s Dr. Seuss book.
The Smoking Gun reports Casey Quoka, a 24-year-old bartender from the Tampa Bay area, was arrested Wednesday evening on two counts of child neglect. According to police records, officers discovered a “bump” of suspected cocaine and a snorting straw atop a copy of the classic children’s book Cat in the Hat. The book was reportedly placed on Quoka’s bedroom nightstand, alongside marijuana and a bag of suspected MDMA pills. Arresting officers say the child had access to his mother’s bedroom, and that the substances were easily within his reach.
The mother is also reportedly accused of leaving her son with “significant bruising” as a result of physical punishment that “exceeded the accepted level of force.” She was released on $4,000 bond Thursday night.
Dr. Seuss made headlines last month after the author’s estate announced they were pulling several of his books from publication. The team said they had ceased licensing and sales of six titles because they contained racist and insensitive imagery. The books were “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “If I Ran the Zoo,” “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!,” and “The Cat’s Quizzer.”
“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Seuss Enterprises wrote in a statement published on the author’s birthday. “Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’s catalog represents and supports all communities and families.”