Utica, NY – A viral video that showed an unaccompanied infant crawling in the middle of a street.
The video has now led to the baby and his siblings being placed in foster care, and his mother being charged with misdemeanor child endangerment (video below).
The video, which was originally posted to Facebook, showed the crying nine-month-old child as he crawled on the pavement, occasionally resting on his stomach.
He was quickly scooped up by concerned citizens, some of whom jumped out of their vehicles to assist him.
Towards the end of the video, a woman could be heard talking to the people who had rescued her child.
“That’s my baby. That’s my baby,” the woman said repeatedly.
Police said they were made aware of the video at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Friday, and that they finally located the child’s mother, 27-year-old Ledrika Ford, after hours of searching, WKTV reported.
Ford claimed that her aunt placed the infant into a car seat, but that she did not secure him into the seat’s restraints.
The mother concluded that, because the doors of her vehicle do not always close, her child must have tumbled out of the vehicle and onto the road when she turned a corner.
Ford said that last she knew, all four of her children were inside the vehicle.
“I grabbed the two bigger ones and she grabbed the two small ones, we put them all in the car," she told WKTV. "I'm in the front seat, putting on my seat belt. I look in the back, everybody's in the car and the door looks like it shut. I pull off. I'm not thinking that my door is going to fly open and my son is going to fly out."
At some point, Ford apparently realized that she was missing an infant, so she spun her vehicle around and began retracing her path, she said.
“I jumped out of the car, and all I see was my baby," she said. "I said 'that's my baby,' and I grab my baby and I just panic. All my kids are in the car, they're crying."
Ford’s son was examined by medical personnel, and had no significant injuries, police said.
The baby boy’s siblings were one, two, and five years old.
“If the older children were in the car, they may be spoken to," Julie Giruzzi-Mosca, a law guardian and attorney told WKTV. "If Mom is charged with either abuse or neglect of one child, she can also be charged with derivative neglect of the other three children."
Giruzzi-Mosca said the family court’s main objective was to reunify parents and children.
"The department offers parenting classes, how to keep a home, to help them before they get to the point where they're in a situation where they're facing family court," she said.
Ford’s children will have their own appointed attorney when the matter goes before the court on Mar. 23.
She faces up to a year in jail, if she is convicted of the misdemeanor offense.
Watch the video of the incident below: