(ABC News) — A disoriented 2-year-old boy who managed to escape from his daycare was found soaking wet in near-freezing temperatures riding a tricycle down the middle of a busy street.
Officer David West of the Sandusky Police Department in Sandusky, Ohio, was the first person to find the child, according to ABC News’ New York City station WABC.
The disoriented boy was not wearing a winter coat, his pants and socks were soaking wet and he was unable to tell officers where he came from and how exactly he ended up on the street.
“I really couldn’t believe it, especially that time of the day and the temperature, barely dressed, just walking on this little scooter in the middle of the street,” West said.
Police officers then went door-to-door to see if anybody knew the child or could give them information about what had happened to him.
After a short search, authorities ended up at the front door of a home daycare facility that had a deadbolt but they discovered that the lock could easily have been accessed by a toddler who only needed to reach up and open the door.
The Sandusky Police Department said that four children have actually escaped the very same daycare center in the past five years.
“We tried to explain to [the daycare employee] maybe some child proofing, door knob covers,” said West. “If she’s watching more than one kid, maybe get an alarm or something on the door so if the door opens there is a beeping sound.”
The daycare center was looking after six other children at the time of the incident.
Officers called Erie County Children’s Services and the daycare owner was charged with endangering children.
The owner pleaded not guilty to the charges but, if she is convicted, she could face up to a year in prison.