Child Found Sitting on Curb

(Memphis)  A 3-year-old child is back at home with his father after he was found wandering a North Memphis neighborhood.

Neighbors found the little boy around 8 a.m. Thursday morning on Northaven Drive. He was crying, wet and alone.

“We walked up and down this street all morning,” said Tanaka Wilson, a neighbor.

If you had to do what these neighbors did, or if you were there for what they saw, you might be upset too.

“I have been on this for two hours,” said Leah Strickland, neighbor and a leader with the Northaven Neighborhood Watch. “It’s very upsetting because the little boy was crying. He was wet.”

The 3-year-old told Strickland that he had been dropped off on Northaven Drive.

“I asked the little boy where he came from, and he said this way,” pointed Wilson.

So Strickland and Wilson held his hand and walked a long ways looking for where the boy came from.

They knocked on one door in particular three times, but no one answered.

It turns out the boy was confused — he wasn’t dropped off, just wandered outside from that home while his father was sleeping. Authorities decided not to press charges against the father.

“He was panicked and upset,” said Chip Washington with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.  “Anyway, we were able to tell him that we found the child.”

Strickland found the little boy originally right outside of the home, but still believes it was too far from his father’s attention.

“I think the parents of a 3-year-old should know where their children are at all times,” Strickland said. ” I don`t care if they are asleep or what they are!”

“I have kids of my own. No, that`s just not what you do,” said Wilson.

“They ought to bring charges against him,” said Stickland.

Deputies and the Department of Children’s Services talked with the father and inspected his house. They decided not to file charges and believe the child is safe back in his care.

Neighbors are unconvinced.

“You  know we’ve all raised children. I had a son. I knew where he was at,” said Strickland.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is thanking the neighbors for acting quickly and being engaged enough in their community to take action for the little boy.