Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Close Call For A Little Boy

Events at work can be eye openers. Even if they don't directly involve your job. While I was sleeping this morning two of my co-workers dealt with a situation that was not in the book.

The woman who would take first shift this morning (the security crew consists of four people, one on at a time) was just coming in at about 5:30 AM and as she walked up to the guard shack she thought she could hear a baby crying and mentioned it to the guy who had third shift. He stepped outside and, as he actively listened, he too could hear it. He stayed at the shack while she went to investigate. It was coming from the direction of a dumpster at a tire store which is near the plant and she had sickening visions of a baby thrown into the dumpster. As she approached she realized it was coming from a little further away so she went back and got into her car to drive into the store's lot to see where it was coming from. She saw the child across the road standing in the doorway of a surveyor's office. He was two years old at the most, wearing pajamas and a diaper. The slippers of his pajamas were soaked and the temperature was mid 30s.

She took him back to the guard shack and called the police while the guy who was in the shack noted that he was otherwise clean, healthy and well-cared for. The sheriff's deputy called protective services who came and got the child. A phone call a few hours later revealed that the child was back with his family. What had happened was he was staying overnight at his grandmother's and when she last checked him, around 1 AM he was sound asleep. Apparently he got up in the middle of the night and went for a walk, my guess is he wanted to go home, and the only mistake Grandma made was neglecting to lock the door so he was able to get out.

What struck me though was how close he was to a main road. The speed limit is 45 and is not well observed. The road is not well lit, though there is a few lights. If he had been there twenty minutes later he would have been in the middle of a rush hour. His pajamas were true blue and not intended to be seen outside at night. How easily I or anyone else who was traveling down that road at night could have struck and killed him? Could you, under those conditions, have seen a two year old in time to stop? Thank God that nothing happened to him but I realize that it could have been tragic. And in other similar cases it has been.

I was once seated on a jury for a woman whose neglectful actions had caused the death of one her grandchildren and I wanted nothing to do with that trial. Fortunately she accepted a bargain just as the trial was starting so I didn't have to make the decision. I would have \hated to see another grandmother in that position.


Blogger Chuck said...

These cases are tough. On one hand it's easy to become indignant and call them irresponsible and unfit. At the same time, those of us with kids have to be honest and think "there but for the grace of God..."

10:02 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Thank God nothing happened to the boy. They will probably arrest the Grandmother and try to take custody from the mother for not protecting the child. Such is the ridiculous litigiuos times we live in.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Thank God nothing bad happened to the boy. Unless he was sent back to a neglectful family.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Yes, there are egregious circumstances we encounter in our lives. Despite that, one of THE largest, most sensible things that must occur is true tort reform: LOSER PAYS.


3:25 PM  
Blogger Z said...

So glad that all ended well.
I think Tim's right; it would be so typical of this country to press charges on the poor woman...who would ever have thought that a little boy would do that in the middle of the night?

Now I'm hearing the woman who did of swine flu's husband is suing some pork meat packing plant; as if they did something on purpose? Oh, my.

12:56 AM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

the only mistake Grandma made was neglecting to lock the door so he was able to get out.Years ago, a friend of mine, on his very first run behind the wheel, hit and killed a toddler who had crawled outside and into the street while his Daddy was sleeping on the couch. The house was very close to the road.

My friend never drove again, even though no charges were filed against him.

And, of course, the family of the dead child was devastated. No charges filed against them either.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

The child must have had an angel watching over him, Shoprat! Thank God he is okay.

I truly don't see how the grandmother can be blamed. Who would think that a child of that age would do such a thing although I don't understand why she didn't lock the door. I thought everybody locked their doors at night anymore. It's not safe to leave them unlocked like people used to be able to do.

10:05 AM  
Blogger shoprat said...

All child was 18 mos old and crawled/walked/tottled a bit over 1/4 mile and is now OK.

Chuck it is easy to blame but it is also so easy to do.

tim I don't think there will be any charges or lawsuit.

pjc the family was not really neglectful as the child was well taken care of.

bz true.

z see what bz said

aow That's what has been on my mind.

Gayle. He had a guardian angel backing up one alert middle-aged woman.

11:21 AM  

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