The woman said she only left the infant, who sat in a stroller, “For a short while”, after receiving a call on her cellphone to go and collect some money from the child’s father, who she said was, “Right up the road.” The woman who was abruptly left with the baby, identified herself to Newsday as Candace Holder and said she was flabbergasted when a woman whom she did not know just told her to, “Watch meh chile...
ah coming back now.” Holder said that at the time, she was on her way to pick up her own two daughters in Belmont.
Holder said another woman who happened to be passing by and recognised the baby who was with a stranger, quickly hailed police officers on mobile patrol, who happened to be driving nearby.
Three policewomen and a policeman surrounded Holder and questioned her about the baby. A short while later, the child’s mother returned, holding a box of KFC in her hand.
“Ma’am, how could you leave your baby with a total stranger with what is taking place today,” asked one of the policewomen as she pointed to the child who sat in the stroller.
“I am sure you have heard about kidnapping and human trafficking and rape every day (yet) you left your daughter with somebody who you don’t know? You have to thank God that she is a good person,” the officer told the mother, who responded, “Officer, it was a spur of the moment thing. I just ran up the road right there...it didn’t take me any time. I didn’t stay long.” However, the police officers were having none of that telling the woman that she could be charged for child abandonment and even wilful endangering of a child.
“If what you say is true, you should have taken your baby with you. You do not leave children let alone babies who can’t even walk or talk good with strangers,” the officer said.
The woman admitted to making a mistake and apologised, saying she had never done anything like this before. “I just got a call and had to hurry to collect the money. It was a mistake officer, it won’t happen again,” she pleaded. “You better make sure this is the last time,” the officer warned.
After the police officers left, the mother turned to Holder and demanded to know who called in the police. Holder explained to the mother that a woman who recognised the baby but did not know who she (Holder) was, flagged down the police officers. “But what she called the police for? That is any of she business,” said the young woman as she left the promenade with her baby.