UTICA, NY - Police have charged a Utica mother with Endangering the Welfare of a Child after her 9-month-old baby boy was found by strangers as he was crawling in the middle of a very busy Bleecker Street.
Police say they became aware of a video posted to Facebook showing a infant in the roadway unattended. The video also shows several citizens attending to the baby.
Police say once the video was brought to their attention around 10:30 Friday night, an investigation was immediately initiated.
The mother drove up and immediately retrieved the baby from those who found him.
Police say they then had to search for the mother. They say after searching for the mother and the child for several hours they were finally located in the 500 block of Milgate Street.
The mother has been identified as 27-year-old Ledrika E. Ford, police had originally said the mother was 17 years old.
In a statement released Saturday morning, Utica Police say Ford told officers she and a relative were not sure how her 9-month-old child ended up on the street.
"She advised officers that the infant was secured in the rear of a vehicle that she was in when they left a location on Bleecker St. A short time later, she looked to the back seat and found that the child was not there. They immediately returned to the area of Pellettieri Ave. and Bleecker St. where they located her child."
Ford is charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and Child Protective Services was notified.
The child was evaluated at local hospital.
The Utica Police Department say they would like to thank the citizens in the video who attended to the child showing their caring and compassionate spirit of the City of Utica.
Two Utica Police officers along with two workers from Oneida County Child Protective Services met with Ladrika Ford Saturday afternoon for about two hours before the nine month old baby and Ford's three other young children were taken away. Ford could be heard weeping as the cars with her kids inside drove away.
Ladrika Ford is due back in court on Friday, March 23rd.
Here is a copy of the video as it was posted on Facebook. We want warn you that some of the language used may be considered objectionable.
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