LAVERGNE, Tenn.- A four-year-old child found wandering the streets was safely returned to his parents thanks to some quick thinking local teenagers.
Police said the boy got out of a carpool van Thursday afternoon near Hectare Lane after spotting a bicycle he wanted to play with. The driver of the van didn't notice the child had gotten out and van drove away without him.
A short time later, while on their way to school, 18-year-old Humberto Orneles and his 14-year-old sister Cynthia noticed the four-year-old boy walking alone. They approached the child and then took him to the nearest Fire Station on Bill Stewart Boulevard, where officials took over.
from a movie that when little kids are lost you take them to a fire
station," said Cynthia Orneles, "so we took him to a fire station."
"It is a blessing this boy was found," said Police Chief Mike Walker. "These teenagers showed a lot of maturity and compassion when they took care of him. They took it upon themselves to protect that little boy. They really stepped up and I am proud of them."
After nearly 10 hours of searching by the La Vergne Police Department, the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, and workers from the Tennessee Department of Children's Services officials were able to identify and locate the child's parents. Police said the when the carpool driver returned to the school in the afternoon, and discovered the boy had never been dropped off, he notified the parents and Nashville Metro Police.
"The driver was upset and showed sincere remorse," said Patrolman Ken Atkin. "I am impressed that these teenagers had the presence of mind to stop after noticing the child was alone and they took him to a safe place."
The child was reunited with his parents Thursday evening, safe and happy.
"During his long visit with LaVergne police officers, he was treated to chicken nuggets, pizza, cartoons, and toy trucks. He had a really fun visit, thanks to some really good officers," said Police Chief Walker.
Police plan to honor the local teens who helped the little boy with a "Chief's Citizen Service Award" on November 20, 2012.
No charges have been filed. The Tennessee Department of Children's Services is still investigating the incident.