RCMP are recommending charges against a man who they say struck a three-year-old boy and abandoned him at a Surrey bus stop Saturday morning.
Staff Sgt. Joe Johal says police are recommending charges of assault and child abandonment.
Johal says the man is a Surrey resident who is related to the child but would not confirm he is the boy’s father.
The toddler was in the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development after he was found at a stop at 152nd Street and 64th Avenue around 11 a.m. Saturday. Witnesses say they saw a man smack the boy in the face, then get on a public bus, leaving the child behind.
The child is now back with his mother.
“It makes me sick to my stomach,” said Lucy Ingram, the woman who took care of the child until authorities arrived.
Ingram works at Berezan Liquor Store, across the street from the bus stop. She and a customer brought the boy inside, where staff took care of him until authorities showed up.
“For the first hour he wouldn’t say anything,” Ingram said. “Not a word. He put the sucker we gave him in the garbage. We gave him a sippy cup; it was almost like he didn’t know how to drink from a bottle or anything…You could tell he was a little scared.”
“After a little while, he grabbed my hand and wanted to walk. He started crying and said ‘I want to see mom.'”
The boy was wearing a pair of swim trunks and a summer jacket, but another customer at the liquor store got the child a fresh change of clothes. His mood improved somewhat after he was given some toys to play with, and authorities took the child, whose name has not been released, at around 12:30 p.m.
Pictures of him were quickly circulated on social media by concerned people in the store.
“My granddaughter is the same age,” says Ingram. “It makes me very sad.”
— With files from Canadian Press
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