The mystery surrounding the viral video of a woman leaving a toddler on a stranger’s doorstep in Texas has been solved.
When the footage was released, many believed that the boy — Royal Simmons — was abandoned by his mother. But People reports that the woman who abandoned the child was a friend of his mother’s who had been asked babysit. The friend was supposed to drop the boy off at his father’s, but left him in front of his father’s neighbor’s front door — presumably by accident.
“What if my neighbor wasn’t there?” the dad, Willie Simmons, said in an interview. “If my neighbor wasn’t there, my son would have been roaming up and down the street.”
According to People, in the video, you can see a woman pulling the boy to the front door along with two bags. She rings the doorbell and knocks before running back to her car and speeding off.
The neighbor says that after hearing a knock and the doorbell, she opened the door and found the abandoned toddler there. After bringing him inside, she called 911. She also handed over the surveillance video to the authorities.
The boy’s father seemed very upset at the fact that his son was left alone at a stranger’s door.
“That was very irresponsible,” he added. “And I feel the lady who dropped my son off needs to be held accountable.”
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The mother of the child seems to be a little bit more forgiving, perhaps because the woman who left the child is her friend.
“It was a very big misunderstanding,” she said.
People reports that no charges have been filed against the woman — but that she could face child abandonment charges in the future.
Lt. Scott Spencer, from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, revealed that Simmons got a text from Royal’s mom informing him that the child would be dropped off at his home. The drop-off plans changed when the mom was admitted to the hospital. So the friend was tasked with bringing the boy to his father, but she stopped at the wrong house on Wednesday. He said that when his son wasn’t dropped off, he presumed that the plans had changed — and left home that evening.
After the 911 call, sheriff’s deputies searched the neighborhood for the father after knocks at his door weren’t answered.
“You just don’t leave no two-year-old kid at no door. Ring a doorbell and run,” the father said to Click 2 Houston. “He’s just a kid — it ain’t right.”