Friday, November 16, 2012
I left the house around 5 pm and it was almost dark, I had my headlamp on. I went out the Power Trail almost to Harmony and turned around 3 miles from home to make a 6 mile run. Coming back home I was on Lemay Avenue which is a very busy street especially at rush hour. I got across Lemay and onto the sidewalk, about 3 blocks from home, and suddenly a lot of cars started slowing down in the southbound lanes, and honking. I couldn't figure out what was going on, and I kept running up the sidewalk.
Suddenly I saw in front of me, this shadowy little outline of a toddler, running toward me on the sidewalk, wobbling back and forth and weaving almost like he was going to fall off the curb and into the street. He was probably 18 months to two years old, and I'm not a good judge of that not having my own kids.
I didn't see anyone else around him, and as soon as I realized what was happening I went sprinting for him and picked him up. I looked around for anyone, and no one was there. There I was, standing on the sidewalk in the dark with my headlamp on, holding this kid.
Suddenly this woman came running toward me from a car. I yelled, "Is he yours?" She came closer, she said, "No, I stopped because I saw him run into the street." Then another woman came walking down the sidewalk from the opposite direction. I asked her the same thing. She said, "No, I stopped when I saw him."
I didn't have my cell phone on me, but one of them did, so we called the police, and the other woman went to her car and got a blanket and a little jacket that her daughter outgrew. She brought them back and we wrapped him up in them.
He was dressed other than shoes, and he couldn't say too many words, we couldn't really understand his name. He could point to the sky and say "airplane" and he didn't seem to be afraid of us, didn't seem abused. We asked him where his mama was, and where he lived, and he couldn't tell us. He was fascinated by the lights and the cars going by.
Soon two police cars showed up, and one of them went back to the station to get a car seat. The officer who stayed took our names and information and asked us a few questions, and we stood around keeping this kid entertained while we waited for the car seat to arrive. This kid was fast on his feet! We were playing with him in the grass while we waited, and we all had to chase him around to keep him from heading toward the street.
Finally the other car showed up with the car seat. It took the two cops a long time to figure out the car seat, we thought that was kind of funny. But they did, and they loaded him in the car to take him and we all left to go home. I was freezing my butt off by the time I was able to run home, about a half hour after I first scooped up the little dude.
I wonder how far he ran before I saw him. There are a few condos and some apartments in that area, but he seemed to be running south from where there's a big shopping center with Starbucks and Sprouts and a bunch of other businesses.
I wonder if he escaped from home or from a car. He wasn't dressed to be outside, it was cold, so I think maybe he got away from home. Who knows what the story is, it's too distressing to imagine the scenarios.
I can't even imagine what his mother must be going through, hopefully they'll figure out where he lives and make sure he's safe tonight. One of the other women said her daughter figured out how to escape from the yard by the time she was two. The fact that no one had come looking for him or called the police by the time a half hour went by is weird, though.
So that was my excitement for the night. I ran the three blocks home, took a hot shower and ate some soup. A good 17 mile day with a twist at the end. It scares me to think what might have happened if I hadn't been running that evening.
I'm going out for about 20 miles today and afterwards I'll call the police and see if I can find out what the outcome was.