N.Y. Mom Arrested After Video Shows Infant Crawling Alone in Middle of Street
The mother of a baby found crawling alone at night on a busy street allegedly told authorities she has no idea how the baby got out of the back of the car they were in
A New York mom-of-four was arrested after her crying 9-month-old was found crawling alone in the middle of a busy street in upstate New York Friday night and rescued by good Samaritans.
Ledrika Ford, 27, of Utica, New York, was arrested on Friday and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, Utica Police said in a statement.
Authorities learned about the situation after someone posted a video on social media of the baby crawling and crying alone at night on busy Bleeker Street in Utica, police said.
The video shows one good Samaritan kneeling next to the baby in the street and softly reassuring the child by saying, “You’re okay,” before telling another man to call 911 and to get a blanket in his car.
“Baby in the street,” one man is heard saying in the video. “That’s what people do now? Leaving their kids in the street?”
As a man holds the crying child, who was wearing pajamas and socks but no coat or snowsuit, a woman is heard yelling, “That’s my baby! That’s my baby! Oh my God! Oh my God!”
The mother left the area with the baby, leaving police to search for them for several hours before they found them on Milgate Street, police said in the statement.
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When questioned by police, Ford allegedly said that she and a relative were not sure how her child ended up in the street.
“She advised officers that the infant was secured in the rear of a vehicle that she was in when they left a location on Bleecker St.,” police said. “A short time later, she looked to the back seat and found that the child was not there.”
As soon as Ford and the unidentified relative realized that baby was not in the car, they immediately returned to Bleeker St., police said.
Child Protective Services was notified and the child was evaluated at local hospital.
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Like many others who posted their sadness and outrage at a baby being found unattended in the street, the man who posted the video on Facebook wrote about how heartbroken he was when he saw “the pain of that lil lost baby who was freezing and lonely and scared cuz (the baby’s mother) wasn’t there…”
In its statement, the Utica Police Department said it wanted to “thank the citizens in the video who attended to the child showing their caring and compassionate spirit of the City of Utica.”
On Saturday, all four of Ford’s children were taken into the custody of Oneida County Child Protective Services, police said in an update.
Ford is scheduled to appear in court on March 23. She has not entered a plea to her charge.
It was unclear Monday if she has retained a lawyer who could comment on her behalf.