Being a parent is not the most straightforward job out there, as it demands constant watchfulness and emotional maturity. However, as they say, to err is human. But what happens when parents make the mistake of not being watchful enough?
In this case, they get slammed with a police warning and child neglect charges that hopefully made them change their ways.
THE HUNT FOR CANDY
One cold night CCTV captured a two-year-old toddler making her way to a Detroit gas station convenience store located just across the road from where she lived.
The footage from the surveillance camera showed the little girl, dressed in boots and a cozy coat, crossing the dark road of Citgo on Hamilton Avenue around 11 p.m. before opening the door and walking inside calmly, like it was a usual thing for a toddler to do.
He decided he wouldn’t just turn a blind eye, so he locked the doors and made her wait while he called the cops. The cops permitted him to take the little girl to the back of the store, where they waited for the cops, who arrived several moments later.
They met her crying, but neither they nor Bazzi knew precisely why she was distressed. Nevertheless, they took her with them to the police station. Then they began the hunt for her parents, who apparently had not heard or seen their kid leave the house.
AN EARFUL FROM THE POLICE CHIEF
The cops began the search by looking for vehicles with child seats and running license plates with the hopes that one would lead them to a particular home address.
Initially, they thought that the toddler might have been dropped off because she was fully dressed for an outing; however, after watching the surveillance tapes, Bazzi informed the cops that she had come from the direction of the apartments across the street.
The search went on for around 45 minutes before officers located the girl’s stepfather at the apartment complex. The family was taken to the Highland Park police station, where they were reunited with the child.
They didn’t seem too bothered about what had happened, and their attitude got under the skin of Highland Park Chief of police Kevin Coney, who had watched the girl cry her eyes out while they tracked down her family.
According to what they told the local news, her diaper also needed a change, and a female officer had to help her take care of it and calm her down.
When her parents finally arrived to take her back, the cops were not ready to simply hand her over. A video clip captured the parents getting an earful from the Chief, Kevin Coney, who pointed out their faults and critiqued their casual attitude. He said:
“There’s a [two]-year-old girl walking across the street at night to a gas station fully-dressed and you come in like, ‘so what?’”
Bazzi was glad she was okay because he knew exactly how dangerous that area was, having had one of his employees shot down by an armed robber just two years before.
Even Inside Edition’s anchor Les Trent admitted that the situation could have ended tragically not just because of the violence attributed to the area but also because the tarmac that separated the convenience store from the little girl’s home was poorly lit and heavy with traffic.
The cops decided to file child endangerment and child neglect charges and got Child Protective Services involved. It turned out that the protective services already knew the family, having been called to the home before, making it obvious the neglect was not just a one-time thing.
This happened years ago, but hopefully, the girl’s parents have gotten better at their jobs and are now watching over the toddler
A STRANDED FOUR-YEAR-OLD
A similar case was witnessed in 2020 when a woman named Nikki Hall found a four-year-old boy standing outside alone on her way to watch her daughter’s basketball game.
She stopped when she saw him and as soon as he noticed her, the little boy ran into her arms. According to Hall, he could not answer when she asked how he had ended up on the street. When she looked around, she saw nobody waiting to collect him, so she put him in her car and drove him to a police station.
Police would later reveal that the boy’s parents showed up, but they refused to release him to their custody until investigations on how he ended up on the street all alone were concluded.
Hall could have left the boy on the street that night as so many obviously had, but thanks to her instincts, she saved him from whatever fate might have befallen him that night.