A 27-year-old woman has been charged after a video of her 9-month-old daughter crawling unsupervised across a busy road in Upstate New York surfaced on social media, raising concerns about the welfare of the child.
Ledrika Ford of Utica was charged on Friday, March 9, with endangering the welfare of a child after officers saw the video of the infant alone on the road, with several passersby providing assistance to the child at around 10:30 p.m., according to a police statement.
Authorities located Ford and her child on the 500th block of Milgate Street after searching for several hours.
Ford and an unidentified relative told officers that they were not sure how the 9-month-old child ended up on the street. The 27-year-old said that she had secured the child in the rear of the vehicle when she left a location on Bleecker Street.
However, a short while later she looked back to check on her 9-month-old child and noticed the baby was gone.
Police said Ford then immediately returned to Bleecker Street and reunited with her child, which could also be heard in the video filmed by Rn Jay.
In the footage, the infant could be seen crying in the middle of the road while a number of Good Samaritans tried to figure out how to comfort the baby.
One of the men could be heard asking whether emergency services have been called while another person went to grab a blanket from their car to keep the baby warm.
Just before the video ends, a woman can be heard saying “that’s my baby, that’s my baby.”
The video has been uploaded to social media and has been viewed over 2.4 million times and shared over 63,000 times.
“[I] want everyone to see this all over the media so please share this around so whenever that mother comes across this she can see that the pain of that lil lost baby who was freezing and lonely and scared cuz she wasn’t there … i don’t care what the problem was or how it happen main rule is to never leave your child’s side at a baby stage like that never,” Rn Jay wrote in his post.
The child was taken to the local hospital to check for injuries.
Police said that child protective services has been notified.
The 9-month-old and three other children were removed from Ford’s custody on Saturday, March 10. Lt. Bryan Coromato of the Utica Police department said they were a 1-year-old, 2-year-old and 5-year-old, reported Fox News.
Ford is currently not in police custody. She is scheduled to face court on March 23, according to the news station.