By Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Police Department’s Special Victims Unit is investigating to determine how a 3-year-old was able to walk away from a Feltonville Day Care Center, wandering through streets and intersections, before being saved only inches from the busy, potentially deadly lanes of the Roosevelt Boulevard.
Police say the 3-year-old, after a rear door of the day care center was left open, and a gate to a fenced backyard play area left unlatched, wandered off and may have roamed the streets for more than 30 minutes. The staff, police say, apparently thinking the child was in a bathroom or perhaps hiding before they realized he was gone.
Neighbor King Verbes, who spotted the child on a home security camera and dialed “911”, says the child was headed for the lanes of the Boulevard when, just before he stepped into the street, a neighborhood woman spotted him and held him until police arrived.
Police say the Day Care Center is fully licensed and there was no response when CBS 3 knocked on the door, seeking comment.
After the child was safely inside a police car, Verbes says, he enjoyed a jelly donut, before being reunited with his shaken mom and dad.
Police say it was the child’s first day ever at the center which, they say, is fully licensed.
A neighbor, Christine Ramsey, tells CBS 3 it is the first time she has ever known of any problem at the center whose owners, she says, is an “excellent caregiver.”