Police called after boy left alone in vehicle

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published August 24, 2022

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GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Police periodically get calls about infants and toddlers left alone in vehicles, but it isn’t as common with older kids.

However, it was the latter that police found themselves dealing with last week. Police were called to the Ascension St. John Hospital parking lot at around 7:39 p.m. Aug. 11 after a witness saw a child left alone in a vehicle.

Upon arrival, officers met with a hospital security officer, who told them that an 11-year-old boy was by himself in the back seat of a vehicle, and the keys were still in the ignition.

Police said the boy was upset and crying when they arrived. Grosse Pointe Woods Public Safety Director John Kosanke said that one of the sergeants who responded to the scene gave the boy a teddy bear to help comfort him.

The boy said his uncle — a 25-year-old Detroit man — had left him in the vehicle at around 5 p.m. that day to take his girlfriend into the hospital. The girlfriend was going into labor, the uncle told police.

“Obviously, he kind of lost his head and he forgot his 11-year-old nephew was out in the car,” Kosanke said of the uncle. “It sounds like it was a very stressful situation.”

It wasn’t clear why the uncle didn’t bring his nephew into the hospital with him. The uncle told police he just left the vehicle in a rush to get his girlfriend into the hospital before she had the baby, and he didn’t realize how long they’d be in the hospital, as this was a first child for both of them.

Police said the boy was able to give them his parents’ contact information, and they called the boy’s mother. She contacted the uncle and told him to return to the vehicle, police said.

The uncle is facing a charge of child endangerment, and Child Protective Services was contacted about the incident, police said.

“It ended up OK,” said Kosanke. “It was just an unfortunate incident.”