Abandoned 2-Year-Old Boy Found Crying in Bushes Outside Restaurant

A mother was arrested after abandoning her 2-year-old child in a restaurant parking lot. The mom, 23-year-old Kalandra Di’Shaun Hightower, of Macon, Georgia, reportedly drove into the lot of Shark’s Fish and Chicken Chicago Style, when surveillance footage showed her getting something out of the back seat, dropping it on the curb, and then taking off in her car. Hearing crying, the owner of the restaurant walked outside and was stunned to see a toddler.


Ibrahim Oudat told The Telegraph:

Just crazy, man. I was shocked. He was crying. He was looking around for some help, so I came back. I hugged him.

The kind-hearted man brought the boy inside and told an employee to call 911. But they were surprised when, at least half an hour later, the mother returned to the parking lot, this time with her mother.

He says they were equally surprised to see that police had already swarmed the area. The mom was arrested on the spot. The grandmother, Cassandra Rhodes, now has the child and the child's sibling. While Oudat says the grandmother seemed "distraught" at what her daughter had done, Rhodes is defending her daughter in the press. She told The Telegraph:

I do have to say Kalandra is a good mother, and I know she loves her kids. And to all the folks who are talking about her, even on Facebook and social media, y’all got it wrong. My baby’s just got problems, and she needs help.

On the surface it seems like an absolutely horrific thing to do to a child, and indeed it is. In fact, Oudat says the boy could have easily been hit by oncoming traffic.

But perhaps the mom did suffer some kind of psychotic break and didn't know what she was doing. Perhaps she was worried she would hurt the child. She obviously went to her mother and told her what she had done and where her son was, so at some point she realized she'd made a mistake.

More from The Stir: Baby Abandoned in Walmart Lot Escaped a Worse Fate

Let's hope this woman gets the help she desperately needs. Meanwhile, the child sounds like he's being cared for. And hopefully he won't remember any of this.


Image via Macon, Georgia Police

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