MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Pine County day care provider could face charges on Friday after a toddler was found walking in traffic on State Highway 23.
The 22-month-old wandered about a block away from the home day care on Wednesday in Sandstone, Minn. At around 3:39 p.m., the Pine County Sheriff’s Office received 911 calls reporting that the girl was found on the highway.
“Callers at some point said cars were actually swerving around the child,” Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole said. “When we arrived we found the child in the arms of a Good Samaritan.”
Devin Baber, 12, was one of the neighbors to help. He was working on his scooter in the front yard when he saw the girl walking along the road.
“When she started walking in middle of road, that’s when I thought, ‘oh god, better go grab her,’” Baber said.
Jerrelyn Chose also jumped into action when she saw the toddler. Chose helped Baber bring the girl to safety and called 911.
Chose has lived near the day care for years and says she often sees unsupervised children.
“Most of the time no one is watching them. They’re just playing with each other and watching each other,” Chose said.
Sheriff’s deputies questions neighbors and discovered the girl got out of the gated play area.
When investigators went to question the provider, they say, she didn’t know the child was missing.
“While deputies were talking to the day care provider, there were indications of alcohol impairment,” the sheriff said.
Deputies performed field sobriety tests, the results of which will be available in the criminal complaint.
Pine County Child Protection later arrived on scene and ordered the day care closed. Parents of the children present were notified and retrieved their children before authorities cleared the scene.
The incident is under investigation and will be referred to the Pine County Attorney for charging review.