Several locals from upstate New York had the shock of their lives when they saw a 9-month-old baby literally crawling around a busy roadway Friday night.
The incident, which was caught on camera, shows an unaccompanied infant wearing nothing but a jumpsuit squirming on the cold pavement across Bleecker Street. Fortunately, cars stopped by the side of the road and prevented any further harm to the baby, WKTV reported.
A couple of motorists can also be seen getting out of their vehicles to attend to the crying baby and pick it up off the ground. Another one recorded the incident on his cellphone and uploaded it to Facebook.
The clip instantly went viral with more than 2 million views in just a few hours. It has also led authorities to launch an investigation into the baby’s parents and why the incident happened.
Utica Police Department managed to track the infant’s mother, 27-year-old Ledrika E. Ford from Milgate St. The distressed mother told authorities that she has no idea why or how her 9-month-old baby ended up crawling on the street alone.
Ford claimed that the infant was secured in the back seat of her car when she and a relative left the area. But when she turned to look in the back, she realized that the baby “has gotten out of the car somehow.” She then went back to the location and started looking for the infant, which was also captured on the viral clip.
Authorities also notified Child Protective Services, which then paid a visit to Ford’s home about five blocks away from where the baby was found, the Observer-Dispatch reported.
On Saturday, the 9-month-old baby, along with his 1-year-old, 2-year-old, and 5-year-old siblings, were removed from the custody of Ford, according to Lt. Bryan Coromato of the Utica Police Department.
And while Ford is not in police custody, she is still facing a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child. If convicted, she could be sentenced up to a year in prison.
Ford is scheduled to appear in court on March 23.
Meanwhile, Lt. Coromato expressed his gratitude to the citizens in the video who showed their compassion to the baby. The infant is currently doing well and did not sustain any injuries from the incident.