Toddler found wandering alone near busy roadway in Colonial Heights

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) - A Colonial Heights man is charged with child neglect after police say his two year old son was found wandering alone Friday along a heavily traveled road.

A good samaritan picked up the toddler just before the evening rush hour on West Roslyn Road, which is the access road to Interstate 95. 19 year old Kenneth Jarratt called 911.

Jarratt says something unusual and quite scary caught his eye while driving toward his house.

"I looked over there and I saw this little child with just a diaper booking it," said Jarratt.

He says he lost sight of the toddler as he parked nearby.

"He was heading right around that curve when I saw him," said Jarratt.

Toward a wooded trail that leads to the access road that runs along Interstate 95.

"I was scared to death you know it's just something you don't see every day," said Jarratt.

He called 911, setting in motion a frantic search. Police say the little boy, wearing only a diaper, wandered out of the woods and onto busy Roslyn Road and that's when another good samaritan stepped in to help.

We talked to the woman by phone. She says she did a "double take"-- stopped, called the boy over to her car and gave him a T-shirt and something to drink until police arrived.

Officers found the boy's father, 24 year old Nicholas Vanover, at his home on Pinehurst Avenue. Police say the child slipped through a fence and wandered a good block and a half before ending up on the busy road.  We tried to get Vanover's side of the story.

"We're not answering any questions," said a woman who answered the front door.

Meantime, Jarratt is just relieved the child is okay.

"I'm glad that he's safe now," said Jarratt.

The child's father was charged with misdemeanor child neglect. The charge carries a sentence of up to a year in jail and a fine if convicted. He's scheduled to appear in court next week.

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