CLARK COUNTY, Ind. (WAVE) - A woman said she was driving down a busy road one night last week when she spotted a toddler wandering on the street in the cold by himself.
The child had a soiled diaper and there was no telling how long he had been by himself. The woman who found him, Alicia Bridges, described her discovery to WAVE 3 News.
“He was like a little dear in the headlights,” Bridges said. “Had tears in his eyes. I picked him up and held on to him.”
Bridges said she was driving south on US 31 in Henryville on Saturday near Ferguson Street when she saw the child walking on the east side of US 31. She immediately stopped, picked up the child and put him in her car. Bridges said his diaper was full.
“He was wearing pajamas, no socks, a short sleeve shirt,” Bridges said. “It was very cold, like 37 degrees that night.” Bridges’ friend gave the child his sweatshirt and socks to keep him warm. They called 911.
According to the Clark County Sheriff’s Department, no one had reported a missing child or came out looking for the child. A sergeant who responded went to a dollar store and bought the child diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes and wrapped the child in a blanket.
The Department of Child Services was contacted.
While waiting for DCS to arrive, police went to Ferguson Street and found a home with the door open. An officer knocked on the door with no answer. He then entered the home and identified himself, and there was still no response. The deputy then found a woman passed out in the back bedroom lying next to a pool of vomit.
The woman was identified as Brittany Robertson, the child’s mother. When police said they were able to get her awake, Robertson said her son was in his bedroom that had two gates screwed to the wall.
Police said it appeared the child climbed out and over the gates to get out of his bedroom. Police also said Robertson said she had been drinking, and that she had put her son in his room before she laid down in her bed.
Robertson was arrested and taken to the Clark County Jail and booked on the charge of neglect of a dependent. Police said when Robertson was booked into jail, her blood-alcohol content was .216.
“I hope maybe this was a one-time issue with this mom and she had a lapse in judgment and this is all it will take to get her back on track,” Bridges said, adding that she can’t stop thinking of all the things that could have happened to the boy. “It’s a miracle. If that doesn’t enforce like never look at your phone when you are driving, never do anything like that. For me, luckily, I was paying full attention, but if I would have done anything wrong, I could have hit him and it would have changed everybody’s life.”
Robertson was in court on Tuesday. She was ordered not to have any contact with her child.