Wandering child found alone in Henrico, father arrested - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Wandering child found alone in Henrico, father arrested

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

A Henrico father has just bonded out of jail after police found his 2-year-old son roaming the streets all by himself. That landed 23-year-old Daylon Jones, Sr. behind bars.

Around 8 p.m. Monday, a neighbor saw the little boy wandering near Laurel Village Drive and Hungary Springs Road. The boy was only wearing a t-shirt and a diaper.

Child Protective Services is now taking a look at the case and the 23-year-old father wants to know why. He says he's a good parent, and the fact that his 2-year-old got out the house, he calls it a mistake.

Daylon Jones is holding his son just a little closer right now.

"We never knew that my son could open the back doors. He never opened the doors before. He's never been in a situation like this before," Jones said.

That's why he says when Daylon Junior got out the house Tuesday night, after they both laid down for a nap, it alarmed him.

"He's 2 years old. I'm not going to know that he knows how to open the doors until he shows me," he said.

A woman saw the toddler in a diaper and a t-shirt alone on the streets. That's when police showed up, located the child, and located the dad with the help of a family friend. The father was arrested.

"We can become amazed at what our toddlers can do," says Liz Pearce with Commonwealth Parenting.

She trains parents everyday on what parents should look out for.

"This is why we have to have child-safe locks on doors. We have to have child-proof doors on medicines and vitamins and so forth. These toddlers and children are very clever," Pearce said.

Not being two steps ahead can have severe consequences, like this dad learned now that he's charged with a crime.

"Knowing what's coming in your child's life, their development and what to look for are critical in staying ahead of the game," Pearce said.

Jones says it's a growing pain that taught him a valuable lesson.

"I'll make sure the door is locked, and maybe something in front of the door since he can unlock the bedroom doors. The back doors, we have the couch in front of the back door now so he can't get out that way…The last thing I need people thinking is that I'm some hoodlum that can't raise my kid," Jones said.

Jones is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor offense. In other cases, some parents have been charged with felony child neglect. Jones' case heads to court in June.

Police are not saying how long that 2-year-old was roaming the streets by himself. A family member was there to care for the child after Jones was taken into custody.

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