If you have or have ever been responsible for a small child, you know that there’s a lot of guilt involved- but you can comfort yourself in the knowledge that at least you’re not the parents that forgot their three-year-old at Chuck E. Cheese.
That’s actually a bit unfair because it seems almost like an understandable mistake- at least Child Protective Services thought so. The tot and her family have not been fully identified in the press for obvious reasons, but it was reported that the girl, named Harmony, attended a gathering at the Bel-Air, Maryland Chuck E. Cheese with both parents and several other family members.
Harmony’s parents share custody of the child, and as the party dispersed, both parents left, believing the girl had gone with other relatives. All familiar adults now absent, Harmony approached the staff of Chuck E. Cheese, requesting a drink and saying she was thirsty. According to local press, it was then that the manager of the restaurant realized that the little girl had been left behind by her party, and no means existed to track her family down:
“The manager of the restaurant told deputies that a large group consisting of approximately four adults and over ten children had arrived at the restaurant at approximately 4 pm. As they had not made reservations and paid in cash, there wasn’t a record of the party. The manager recalled that the large group left the restaurant at approximately 8 pm. Shortly after 8 pm, the 3 year old little girl, identified as Harmony approached an employee saying she was thirsty. The staff was unable to locate any parents or adult guardians and contacted the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.”
Officers waited with Harmony for another hour and a half, contacting Child Protective Services at 9:30 to let them know the girl was unclaimed. By 11PM, Harmony’s picture was shown on area news, and calls came pouring in- including one each from Harmony’s parents. CPS determined the mistake was genuine, and released Harmony to her mother’s custody.
Could you see leaving a kid behind in the chaos that is Chuck E. Cheese?