LAKEWOOD, N.Y. (WIVB) – A concerned group of citizens took action Sunday in a local Walmart when they found a child left unattended in the shoe department.
Police responded to the scene of the Lakewood Walmart Sunday around 9:15 p.m., when they say a group of citizens called in a baby with no guardian. The group, made up of concerned shoppers and employees, attempted to find the parents but weren’t successful. They found the one-year-old outside of a stroller asleep.
When police arrived at the scene, they say they investigated the situation, and learned the baby was left unsupervised for a “significant” amount of time, although they could not give out a more definite timeline. Officers moved to find the parents of the baby, and they say they found success after searching through the store.
Police say they found the mother, a family member and a family acquaintance shopping together elsewhere in the store. They say they ticketed Nelly L. Gonzalez, the mother, with endangering the welfare of a child right away. Police say while interviewing other two people in the party, they found that the family member had an order of protection against Miguel A. Ramos Flores, the “acquaintance.”
Officers say Ramos Flores was in violation of the order of protection, and officers asked him to come with them, but say he resisted arrest. Police say they used a taser gun on him to subdue him.
During that altercation, a bystander filmed the event. Police say they’re aware of the recording. You can watch the video below, but beware of foul language as it plays
Police say after the arrest and the filming, they received a multitude of calls which said the baby was left in a shoe box. Police said they wanted to dispel that rumor. They say the child crawled out of its stroller and fell asleep next to it.
After Ramos Flores was arrested, police say they returned the baby to Gonzalez on the recommendation of Child Protective Services (CPS). They say CPS will conduct its own investigation to ensure the child’s well being in the future.
Ramos Flores was charged with criminal contempt, resisting arrest, harassment and obstruction of governmental administration. Gonzalez was charged with endangering the welfare of a child. The two would return to court at a later date.