Should children be taken away

United States
February 25, 2007 7:07am CST
While driving down a OKC street at 5 pm I saw a small boy about 5 standing on the curb. I was turning into the drug store so I stopped by him and asked what he was doing three and he said he was just walking. I pulled over and took him by the hand and went into a store and we called his Mother she did not know he was gone. While waiting on her to pick him up he told me that he did this all the time and I was so scared for him as the world is full of perverts and bad people who would love to come across him. When his Mom came to get him she had been drinking and explained she was opn the phone and did not know he was gone.I felt bad for calling her and not calling the police as I wonder each day if he is out on that busy street again. Should I have called the police? Did I do the right thing?
11 people like this
24 responses
@7nicole1 (1634)
• Canada
26 Feb 07
Well if you honestly believe the child was in trouble then yes I think you should have called the police rather then the mother. No child should be left unattended like that let alone not being watched at home from where he took off. Some people should'nt be allowed to have kids and from the sounds of it, this woman is definitly one of these people who should'nt be allowed.
2 people like this
• United States
26 Feb 07
Well I guess I wanted to think or perhaps hope that this was a once in a lifetime thing and that it does not happen again but will be checking in on him as it has been heavy on my mind. Thank you for replying and have a great day
@_hope_ (3906)
• Australia
25 Feb 07
A child will take off as soon as a parent has their eyes turned but in that case i think i would of been concerned especially if the child has done it repeatidly .Keep an eye out for him the next time you see him out by your self and then i would contact the police .take note the day the shop you phoned from and the time as to be able to inform the police that this child is continually running away there has to be a reason .As you said in this day and age a young child like this one can eaisly fall prey to those horrid people
• United States
26 Feb 07
That was one of my concerns that a sick perv would grab him and no one would know where to start looking for him at. It is so scary. Thank you for replying and have a wonderful day
@amafrias (456)
• United States
25 Feb 07
I most definately would have called the police and let them deal with her. The mere fact hat he went with you showed how vulnerable he wuld be to any pervert or crazy out there. In my opinion she does not deserve custody of this little boy. Any mother who could allow that to happen and to have been drinking on top of that needs help. Until she gets that help her son should be in the custody of responsible family or the state. I know the state can be just as neglectful in there placement of children sometimes due to the massive amounts of children they have to place so people are leary of calling them. They usually try to find family first though. I am like you, I would be worried every day about that little boy.
• United States
26 Feb 07
I do seem to wonder each day if he is out there but all I can do is check on it every once in a while and I have called the manager and he assures me that he is watching for him and will call the police if he sees him there again. I wish more people would worry about their children more and learn to multitask their chores so they were not aat risk. Yes each one of us has one get out and away from us but I only watched her more when she did that as that was a part of being a Mom. My daughter used to run off from me in Wal Mart till one day I thought enough is enough so I looked till I saw her then hide behind the isles till she was frantic looking for me and then when I stepped out I explained to her that she could have lost me forever and she stopped running off in the stores from me. It was scary to her but I had to get her attention.
• Canada
25 Feb 07
I think you did the best thing you could have done in tricky circumstances. You didn't know what the home conditions were like, and still don't although judging by the fact that the mother had been drinking, you could probably hazard a guess. I would suggest that if you continue to see this child out on his own that you call child services. He shouldn't be allowed to wander out on his own at that age, and his mom should be doing a much better job of keeping an eye on him. So what if she was on the phone? I manage perfectly well to keep an eye on my kids when I'm on the phone, and I always make it a point to know where they're going, and who they're going with.
2 people like this
• United States
26 Feb 07
She was on the phone and having a drink is what she said and he must have gone out . I just asked her to make sure he did not do that again as I was afraid for his safety and she took his little hand and walked away... Thank you for replying hope your day is great....
@marie27 (62)
• United States
25 Feb 07
it is sad. but unfortunately i doubt the cops could or would do much. i see it everyday where i live kids as young as 4 years old hanging out by themselves walking up and down the streets playing with no adult supervision
2 people like this
• United States
26 Feb 07
YIkes it is so scary that some people do not supervise their children. As young as 4 that is so scary. Have a great day aaand thank you for replying
@imsilver (1668)
• Canada
25 Feb 07
I do think that you did the right thing. Phoning the police may have been overkill in this situation - I'm not sure they could have done any more than you did. Sometimes kids just get out without us even realizing it. It doesn't make a bad parent. Although I guess that depends how often it happens. "All the time" coming from a kid doesn't really mean to much. I've had my daughter brought home by the police one morning myself. She was just over 2. We'd gotten up in the morning to get my older one and a stepchild I had at the time off to school. And somehow in all the bustle my daughter got out the kitchen door. Right away she headed to the park down the road. One of our neighbours just happened to be a cop on his way to work, so he picked her up and brought her home to me. She hadn't been out of the house for more than 5 minutes but I hadn't even realized she was gone. I had assumed that she was still in the kitchen eating her breakfast. I guess it depends on the type of city you live in too though. I live in a very small town where everyone knows everyone. And even our busy streets aren't all that busy so there isn't too much to worry about. I really think that you did the right thing. Although if it happens again and again then it might be time to get children's aid involved.
2 people like this
• United States
26 Feb 07
I think at one time or another it happens to all of us I just pray that she watches him closely as they live in a very busy section of town and he was so small.Have a great day and thank you for replying.
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
25 Feb 07
Well I don't know what impression did you get when she picked him up. Did you think that she was the type to neglect him. It can happen that a child gets out no noticed. My Daughter did it and there was 3 Adults about at the time. I think you did the right thing in calling her and not the Police as it could have been a one of.
2 people like this
• United States
26 Feb 07
Well my daughter has sneaked out when I thought she was napping but I always caught her but we live in a rural community but we have other things that make it unsafe for her to be outside without an adult. I then stqarted locking the doors and checking on her as she slept.I hope he does not do that again as it scared me for him to be out by the street in rush hour traffic. Hope you have a great day. Thank you for replying
• United States
25 Feb 07
Well this is a crazy situation I think you did the best you could do. However, if I saw the boy wondering again I would for sure call the police and tell them that you found him out once before. It is sad for this little boy that he just wonders around all alone and his mother is too careless to even notice he isn't home.
2 people like this
• United States
26 Feb 07
I know it is but you just do not know at the time what to do. I guess my inner self thought of if this was the first time this happened or was this an every once in a while thing or the worst was it a norm for him to run the busy streets as Mom sat and drank herself into the next day. I did ask the manager to watch out for him and he will call if he comes back up there.Have a good day...
@michele609 (1687)
• United States
25 Feb 07
Well you did the right thing, thats what I would have did. You did not know the mother was like that untl you saw her. It is a horrible thing that happens everyday where I live and I also feel bad but sometimes calling the police dont even help. I ask God every night to look after them children. If I was you I would have did the same thing you did.
• United States
25 Feb 07
Thank you for replying I sure hope that he does not go back to that busy street and I am still asking God to wathc over all the children in our world. Hope you have a great day...
1 person likes this
@icequeen (2842)
• Canada
25 Feb 07
I feel sorry for children like these. I think that you were just trying to help and that these situations happen every day. Perhaps you should have called the police. I think that if you run across this child again...I would call the police. I don't know how you feel..but maybe you could give him your number in case he needs someone to help him....
2 people like this
• United States
25 Feb 07
It does make me wonder if this happens to him alot I asked the manager at the store to watch out for him and if he saw him again he is going to call them.I just cannot get him out of my mind. He was so little standing there.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Feb 07
I guess what you did was fine, at the moment. But I still think I would have called the police also, just becase then there would be someone out there that knew this child was not being cared for properly and if a pattern established with the child being out on his own, then the correct autorities could be brought in to have the child removed from his neglectful mother. As it stands, you and the store owner are the only ones who know that the boy was out, alone on a busy street in a very large city, there is no official record of him being there and its your word against hers if something happens. Next time, make sure the police are called first, let them deal with the mother and then there is official record of the incident, and the boy will be much safer if it continues to happen. I just don't understand some people, how can you not know your child is gone.
• United States
25 Feb 07
I guess I should have called the police but did not I guess that is why I cannot forget the incident and will call next time but usually it does no good to call they just give them a warning and it happens again and again. I wish our DHS was a better agency. I cannot fathom not knowing where my child is.
@wmaharper (2316)
• United States
25 Feb 07
That's a hard descision to make, because with the limited information you had, I think you made the best descion you could. I think I would have done the same thing. I pray to God, someone discovers that this mother is obviously incomptent and the child is taken care of before it's too late.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Feb 07
Me too. I asked the man who works at the store where we used the phone to call the police if he saw him there again. He said he would watch for him and all I can do is ask God to keep him safe and I wish I could stop wondering about him. It is scary though. Have a nice day...
1 person likes this
• India
25 Feb 07
I think that you did the best thing in tricky circumstances. The police could not have done more. I share your concerns but it is neither a crime for a child to walk on the street, nor a tort for an adult to have a drink. Perhaps you could call the mother and offer further help by way of advice on parenting.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Feb 07
It just bothered me that she did not know he was gone and you are right the policce would have just gave her a warning or done nothing but it has been on my mind ever since that I shold have done more to ensure his safety.Thank you for replying. Have a good day.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 07
You did a good thing by calling the mother. KEEP THE stupid cops out of it. If this turns out to a chronic situation, then other steps should be taken. People drink. IT'S LEGAL! No one should take the word of a 5 year old kid.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 07
I hope that this was random and does not happen often as all children should be taken care of and their safety should be first in everyday life. He did not tell me she was drunk I could see she was drunk. She did not drive to pick him up as she had been drinking so I thought perhaps she was just having a bad day I hope it wss 5 pm though. I just worry about children and do not know why some people do not supervise them closer. I hope I never see him on that street again as next time I will call but I do not know if that would do any good either.All I can do is pray for him and wonder for now. Thanky ou for replying and have a good day..
• United States
26 Feb 07
WHAT?! its legal when you dont abuse it... I dont know if she abused but I am under the impression that if her child walkes off and doesnt know, then that leads me to believe that she did abuse it..
• United States
6 Apr 07
eeewwwww!!!! rene another controlling person on the rise.
@emarie (5451)
• United States
25 Feb 07
well, you did do the right thing in getting him off the streets. if you do feel worried, i would just drive by or maybe even call every once in a while to check on how he's doing. i would be going balistic if my children left the house without me knowing. the police wouldn't have done much, just return the child home. but you did a good thing and you should be proud of yourself.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Feb 07
Well I figured they would call the Mom and thaat would be it but at least I got him home that day. I am going to stop by the store each time I go to town and check on him. I do not go totown but once or twice a month try not to go then I like it out here in the sticks. LOL
• United States
25 Feb 07
Agreed.
• United States
25 Feb 07
thank you
• United States
26 Feb 07
You said that the mom was drinking and didnt know that he had left, unfit is the word , call the police at least it would be in the system and proof that it did happen before, But as a parent it is very scary to think that a five year old is walking the street all alone, without anyone there he could have gotten hit by a car... hopefully there is a solution to this madness.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 07
that was my concern that he could have been run over or kidnapped. I hope I did the right thing. Thank you for replying and have a great day
@Blazing15 (333)
• United States
26 Feb 07
I think that you did fine. I'm Just glad that it was you that stopped and helped him and not some sicko going to take the child for a joy ride. It's kinda sad that the mother was drinking. I wonder how long it wouldn't have taken her to realize that her son was missing.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 07
Thank you for replying and I do wonder how long it would have taken her to realize it. It took her 35 mins to come a block to the store where we were after calling her. Have a great day
@TriciaW (2441)
• United States
26 Feb 07
I used to work for a community agency where if I saw anything of the such I was required to call it in. However one friday night after a long day I went to get some movies to relax with at home. I saw a child around 2 or 3 in the car in a carseat alone. My first thought was mom went in to take back the movies and only would be gone a second. This store was off a very busy highway. I found mom clear on the other end of the store looking for movies. Not really wanting to get the police involved I went up to the mom and asked her to go get the chlid out of the car. The mom went nuts. She started yelling in the middle of the store. All I could think of was I should have called the police because this must be a norm for mom and I would have avoided the ranting and raving she was doing now. I stopped her yelling and explained if she did not go get the child I would have to call the authorities. Mom must have realized by the look on my face I was not joking so off she went to get the child. Upon her return she continued to rant and rave. I got my movies and went to check out. The poor gal at the check out had the widest eyes. I smiled at her and said next time I saw something like that I would call the authorites before coming in the store. The girl said you won't have to I will. We both chuckled a bit and I went home to take asprin. It amazes me how mothers react to these things and why on earth would you leave a small child alone? At 5 my children weren't even allowed to cross the street without me yet this seemed to be the norm for this little boy you found. I just find it very very sad for the children.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 07
I am sorry that she yelled at you for trying to help her child but you did what you should have and I hope that what I did was enough to help that little boy. It just makes you wonder after it is all said and done if I did enough you know? But we out here have to be the advocates for these children as it seems at times they have no one else. Hope you have a wonderful day.. Thank you for replying...
• Philippines
26 Feb 07
There was no way you could have known the extent of the home situation that little boy is in. You thought this was a random occurence of a boy losing his way from home. If you are really worried that the boy is endangered because of his mother's irresponsibility, give social services a call and tell them what you saw. Stress that you are worried about the kid's safety and that you suspect that this wasn't an isolated incident. They can take care of investigating the case from hereon.
• United States
26 Feb 07
I will check on him when I go to town and I hope I never see him out there again as it is so scary. I hoe that it was his first time out there and his last. Thanky ou for replying and have a wonderful day
@em1040 (160)
• Philippines
26 Feb 07
from where i live you cant save them all. i see them everyday when i go to school, work, mall. if the authorities will take them they'll end at streets again the next day. but im talking about street children. maybe u should call for the child services. it always hurts to see kids being neglected by their parents. you did what u had to do to do, u didnt knw what kind of a mother he had. maybe ul see him again walking on that street..
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 07
I would try to save them all as they are just children and sreet kids why do we have them and why does our society allow this. If I see him out there again I will call and insist they do something as he was a 5 yr old so small. I could not live with myself if I just drove on. As for the Mom I explained to her that anything could have happened to him and asked her to please discuss this with him.I followed them and got the address so if this happens again and I see him I can tell them where he lives. Thank you for replying and hope you have a great day