Heroic Bus Passengers Save Toddler From Abusive Mom

Erica Ryan
Erica Ryan
It's a story that will break your heart, but also bolster just a little more faith in humanity. Earlier this week in Boston, Erica Ryan, 25, was riding on a city bus with her toddler son, which can certainly be a challenging feat. She was heard repeatedly scolding him, but then her anger soared to levels that went much further than just another frazzled mom.

Fellow passengers heard her yell at the boy for not eating what she wanted him to, then she started calling him names laced with profanity. Finally, she punched him in the mouth. According to Boston.com, "The sound could be heard throughout the front end of the bus." There was blood.

That's when strangers stepped in.


The strangers blocked Ryan from getting off the bus, and authorities were called. When police arrived, they found “a hostile group circled around a woman holding an infant.’’ How could you not be hostile after witnessing something like that? She's lucky she didn't get punched herself.

As it is, these strangers may have saved this toddler's life. If the mother was so unstable, sick, drugged out, or whatever the case may be to punch her child in public, then you can only imagine what could happen behind closed doors. These passengers could have just looked the other way, not bothered to get involved, and chalked it up to another crazy thing they saw on the way home that day, but they didn't.

Now at least authorities are involved, and the boy will have a chance to grow up in a safe and loving home. Whether that's with someone else or with his mother after she learns how to be a better parent (if that's possible), I don't know. But at least there's a chance now and people watching, where before there wasn't.

For her part, Ryan says her hand slipped while she was feeding the boy, but there's video evidence that shows her drawing back her hand and hitting him. The sound of her striking him can be heard. She told police, “No one is going to take away my baby." Fortunately, for now, they have.

She's been charged with assault and battery, and the boy is in his grandfather's care. Hopefully because of the actions of these strangers, he will have a better life, whatever that may be.

Have you ever witnessed child abuse? What did you do?

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