Police: Teen charged after toddler found alone in street

Credit: Google Maps

Tom Hunter Road and North Tryon Street.


by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC


Posted on April 24, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 24 at 6:15 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A teenage girl has been charged with misdemeanor child neglect for letting a toddler walk away from home in the middle of the night, wearing just a diaper and large pair of athletic shoes.

The 2-year-old ended up walking down a sidewalk near North Tryon Street and Tom Hunter Road.

A woman on her way to work saw the toddler and called 911 around 3 a.m. Wednesday morning.

"I caught him.  He got nothing but a diaper on him and somebody's big tennis shoes on him," the caller said.

The woman handed the toddler over to a man, who then brought him inside a 7-11 gas station.

"We tried to keep him warm," said store employee Willie Cummings.

The boy is on store surveillance video.  Employees say he was cold an crying for his mother.  They clothed him, gave him juice and waited for police.

"There's no way I could ever imagine that," said parent Quantina Watkins.  She lives in the area and her son turns two in a couple months.

"Where were the parents at?  That's my question."

The toddler's 16-year-old relative was supposed to be watching him.  Police aren't saying how the girl is related.  She's charged with misdemeanor child neglect.

"He could have perhaps got hit, somebody could have picked him up, molested him or anything," Watkins said.

Police handed the boy over the Department of Social Services.  Police found the toddler's parents several hours later.

In general, DSS has to conduct an in-home examination before the boy can be returned to his family.