The boy’s father is alleged to have left him at the station, telling firefighters that he could no longer look after the youngster. According to newspaper The Kansas City Star, the boy’s mother had left him with the father on March 22 but she was unavailable when he tried to return him days later. It is not clear why she was unable to collect her son at the agreed time or whether she told the father to keep him for a longer period.
Firemen took the boy to hospital where he was found to be in good health. Authorities are now considering whether to charge the father with child endangerment or abandonment but this may not be possible as the boy was not in danger when left. State law allows parents to leave children under one year old at hospitals, police and fire stations under the so-called ‘Safe Haven Law’, and parents of babies under five days old who do so are immune to prosecution.
Fireman Pat Dujakovich told news station KSLA:
“It’s the first time it’s happened. I’ve been with the Kansas City Fire Department for 25 years and this is a rare occurrence. It’s never happened before.”
“It was heartbreaking. We had a first grader with a backpack and his homework and somebody didn’t want him. It affected all of the firefighters. Everyone of us at the station have children and everyone wanted to take that kid home and make him part of their family.”
Photo of Kansas City by Leprecub via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence