HALIFAX — He should have been asleep, safely tucked in his bed dreaming.
Instead, a Halifax toddler took a nighttime stroll in the big city.
Plainclothes police officers were shocked at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday to see a three-year-old boy trotting naked along the ramp to the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge that crosses Halifax harbour.
The child somehow got across a major multi-lane road to make it to the ramp.
“The officers … were able to get him into the car and they wrapped a jacket around him,” said Const. Brian Palmeter, spokesman for Halifax Regional Police.
The toddler wasn’t injured and “seemed not the least bit fazed over the incident.”
Police found the boy’s home a short distance away, but his mom wasn’t there, Palmeter said.
“There was a babysitter staying at the house looking after the child,” he said. “The babysitter was asleep and when the police arrived, upon explaining that we had found this child, the mother was then called and she quickly returned to the home.”
The woman, who has not been identified, “was very shaken … but also thankful of the outcome,” Palmeter said.
Area resident Kalenshi Katebe said he found the incident troubling.
“I don’t know how a child that age could be outside at that time of the night,” he said. “That’s just sad.”
But Palmeter said that it appears that it was simply a case of the child being able to get out of the house without anybody noticing.
“People should be aware that this type of thing can happen quickly and quietly,” said Sarah Blades of the child safety link program at the IWK Health Centre.
In light of Wednesday’s incident, children’s services workers are following up with the Halifax family.
“There was an automatic referral because of the age of the child (and) given the circumstances to Children and Family Services,” said Sgt. Don Moser. “If they feel that it’s appropriate that we become involved, we’d do an integrated investigation with them.”