Toddler found in busy street after escaping day care

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 11:38 AM CDT
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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WTVC) - A Tennessee mother is looking for answers after she learned her 3-year-old son was rescued from a busy street when he got out of his day care.

Jamyia Johnson said she learned what happened to her son Damauri from a Facebook post by the person who rescued him.

Kimberly Roberts wrote she found the toddler out in a busy intersection Wednesday.

“He was so scared, but I pulled my car over and convinced him to get back on the sidewalk,’ she wrote. “So many people stopped to ask who he belonged to. I swiftly picked him up and calmed him down and went to the day care across the street. A worker opened the door to give me his backpack. I was fuming then!

“I demanded to speak to the director, and she said they figured out how he got out - the side gate! Moms, dads and grandparents, please inspect your child care premises. I couldn’t help to think the worst.”

It was Damauri’s first day at the Alton Park Child Development Center. Day care employees declined to comment.

Online records from the Tennessee Department of Human Services shows the Alton Park Child Development Center was cited for several violations in 2019. They included children being left without an educator, and unsecured TV on a shelf and people working with children who did not clear background checks.

The records show that corrective action was taken for all the 2019 violations.

Johnson said Thursday that she doesn’t plan on taking her son back.

“It actually has five stars,” Johnson said.

She says she has been going to the church for years and attended the same day care as her son. She says she did not receive a phone call from the day care to alert her or an apology when Daumari ended up in the street.

Johnson says she has now spoken with a representative from the Department of Human Services.