WATCH: Surrey RCMP have arrested the father of a toddler, who was found abandoned at a bus stop. And now officers are recommending charges. Meanwhile, the people that found the three-year-old boy are now speaking out. Nadia Stewart reports.
Police say the father who abandoned his three-year-old child at a bus stop stole juice containers from a nearby store and struck the toddler before leaving on a bus.
Surrey Insp. Bruce Stuart says that charges haven’t been sworn against the man, so his name can’t be released. But he did say they’re recommending charges of assault, child abandonment and theft.
READ MORE: Toddler slapped, abandoned at bus stop
Stuart says that a number of juice boxes were left at the bus stop at 152nd Street and 64th Avenue, where the child was left around 11 a.m. on December 20.
Witnesses told RCMP the suspect slapped his son and pushed him towards the bus stop – before leaving on a bus headed to Langley himself.
When police went to the convenience store where the juice boxes came from, the store manager told them that a person had recently stolen the same item. Security footage from the store matched descriptions of the suspect.
Stuart says a woman in Langley also called in to police, saying she was on the bus with a man who was rambling about not knowing where his child was.
The father was arrested last night, but released with conditions.
Sgt. Joe Johal thanked witnesses who contacted police on Saturday morning about the incident, as well as those who circulated a photo of the
boy on social media.
A man named Phil, who first noticed the toddler alone, says he was soaking and only wearing shorts and a light jacket.
“Me and my friend had noticed this because we went to the park and came back and he was still there and there was nobody at the bus stop,” said Phil.
“I went up to bus stop, he started crying, coming towards me. I saw two apple juices and an umbrella there, so I took the little fella over to the beer and wine store and told my friend to call the police.”
It was at the Berezan Liquor Store that an employee named Lucy Ingram took care of the toddler for close to 90 minutes until authorities arrived. She and customers at the store gave the child a change of clothes and some toys to play with – all while wondering how a child could be abandoned out of nowhere.
“I’m sick to my stomach,” she said.
“It’s just horrible. What could he have possibly done?”
© 2014 Shaw Media