BLANCHESTER — A woman was charged with endangering children after her toddler was found in the middle of a street, according to police.
Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt stated in a news release that at around 10:45 a.m. Thursday, July 11, a retired police officer found a two-year-old boy standing in the middle of the 100 block of Bourbon Street.
“Bourbon Street is the name given to State Route 133 within the village limits, and is a state route carrying heavy truck and car traffic,” stated Reinbolt. “The boy was dressed only in a diaper and had a pacifier in his mouth.
“After knocking on doors and checking the area for a frantic parent to no avail, the man brought the child to the police station, where Ptl. Kristen Jeffers took emergency custody of him, found clothing for him — thanks to Stephanie Howard of the Mayor’s Office — provided him with toys to play with and cartoons to watch.
“At around 11 a.m., after hearing nothing from any parent, Ptl. Jeffers contacted Clinton County Children Services to provide emergency shelter care for the child.”
Reinbolt continued, “At around 11:40 a.m., nearly an hour after the boy was found, his mother, Amber Johnson, came to the police station. Johnson stated the boy was in bed with her when she went to bed around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night, but the child was not there when she awoke at around 11:30 a.m.”
He said that Johnson, 23, who resides in the 100 block of Bourbon Street, was issued a summons charging her with endangering children, a misdemeanor offense. He said Children Services made the determination to take emergency custody of the child.
Reinbolt said, “This marks the seventh incident this year in Blanchester in which a toddler was found alone in or near the street — that’s one each month. In many of those cases, the child wandered off while the parent was sleeping during the day time hours. If this keeps up, it is only a matter of time before, God forbid, a child is injured or killed by a motorist.
“The best I can do is offer some common-sense advice: Toddlers don’t sleep until noon. If you plan to sleep until noon, you should have someone watch your child while you sleep. Toddlers are curious and resourceful, and therefore require constant supervision. They are able to unlock doors and turn door knobs. Child-proofing the doors of your house is cheap insurance to keep your child from wandering into the street.”