Niagara Gazette

Crime

November 5, 2012

Three children under the age of 4 left alone with a sawed-off shotgun.

Niagara Gazette — It was raining and the temperatures were falling into the 40s on Oct. 28 when Falls Police Officer Tommy Caldwell was dispatched to a call of a "found child" in the 500 block of Ferry Avenue.

When Caldwell pulled up, just before 10:30 p.m., he found a neighbor holding a small child.

"He had a 1-year-old little boy, wrapped in a blanket and he said he had found the child wandering around Sixth (Street) and Ferry (Avenue), crying, and he didn't see any parents around."

The child was wearing a one-piece jumper, and had no shoes or socks on. As Caldwell continued talking to the neighbor, Roving Anti-Crime Unit Officer Kevin Henderson also arrived on the call.

"We started searching for the parents," Henderson said. "We went down Sixth Street, and Tommy found a home (in the 500 block of Sixth Street), with the back door open, just off the alley."

As Henderson and Caldwell approached the home, they saw a rattle and pacifier lying in the grass.

"I thought we might be in the right place," Henderson said. "And then we went up the stairs of the home and found another open door."

The officers looked inside the apartment and announced their presence, but no one answered. As they stepped inside, they saw an open door to a bedroom.

"There, we saw a little boy and a little girl lying on a blanket on the floor," Caldwell said. "They were sleeping on the floor. There were two space heaters running on the blanket and a TV was on with cartoons playing."

Caldwell and Henderson continued to call out for parents, a babysitter or anyone who may have been there to watch over the children. Still, no one answered.

"At that point we didn't know where the parents were," Henderson said.  "But we knew we had three small children (ages 1, 3 and 4) home alone."

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