Exclusive: Another Wandering Child In Streets

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

This front porch might look kid-friendly, but police say it was anything but Monday, when neighbors found a little boy freezing, frightened and alone, pacing near a home on Vermont Avenue in North Lansing.

"The kid was crying, sitting in the snow, hands red, walking down the sidewalk," says Ervin Hall, who found the boy.

"His shoes weren't on the right way," says Hall's mother, Gwen. "This kid could've frozen to death, this kid could have come up missing, I did what anyone would have done. I took care of him."

Gwen hall and her son, Ervin, took the little boy in, fed him, warmed him up-- but not before trying desperately to locate the child's parents.

"I knocked on the door [of the child's home] at least 10-15 minutes," says Ervin. "I was like, 'How could anyone leave a child outside?'"

Police got involved-- and got some answers.

"The father was inside the house. He told officers he'd fallen asleep," says Lt. Noel Garcia.

The father was a 30-year-old Lansing man who, Garcia says, was very surprised and uspet when he found out the child was outside.

But Garcia says they couldn't legally press charges of child abandonment-- even though the kid was outside for hours. He says there is no law or legislation that allows criminal charges to be filed if no harm has been done to the child, accidental or not.

We tried to talk to the parents ourselves, but no one answered the door at the Vermont Avenue address.

This isn't even the first time in recent weeks that a little child has been found walking all alone on the streets of Lansing, and neighbors here say it has to stop.

Gwen hall remembers the October case, where Saleta Chang and Carl Freeny were arrested when their two-year-old was found wandering Kalamazoo Street all alone.

"Watch your children. It's dangerous out there," Hall says. "Children come first."

The child is now back in his parents' custody and Child Protective Services is conducting an investigation along with Lansing Police.


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