NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) –Police have arrested the mother of a 2-year-old boy who was found abandoned in the Bronx on Monday morning.
Diana Paniagua, 29, of the Bronx faces charges of reckless endangerment and abandonment of a child.
On Monday night, CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez spoke with the boy’s godmother who could not believe that Paniagua would ever leave him alone.
“I’m in disbelief. I’m in disbelief, I don’t think she’s capable whatsoever of leaving her son unattended in the street,” she said.
The boy was discovered by a propane deliveryman sitting inside a blue stroller around 5:30 a.m. at East 141 Street and Rider Avenue in the Mott Haven section, police said. He was transported to Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center for observation and is now in the custody of Administration for Children Services.
The child is described as being Hispanic, standing 26 inches tall and weighing 26 pounds. He has brown eyes and brown hair trimmed in a Mohawk style.
The deliveryman, Jason Alexander, told CBS 2’s Sanchez that he saw the boy being pushed in a blue stroller by a Hispanic woman with all black clothing and her hair in a bun. The woman seemed out of sorts, and he asked her if she needed any help, Alexander said. The woman said no, so the deliveryman left.
Alexander said he later saw the woman walking alone. He asked her where the child was, and she didn’t respond, he said.
He said he then went back to the area where he saw her earlier and found the boy abandoned in his stroller.
“He was actually crying and reaching out to me, and he was in pretty good condition,” Alexander told Sanchez. ” … When I picked him up, he stopped crying.”
As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, the area includes drab warehouses and an empty ballfield. The block is a desolate corner at 5:30 a.m., 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
Jenny Perez wondered why anyone would abandon a child at such a dismal place.
“I wouldn’t know who would do something like that. It’s really crazy,” she said.
“It’s a lot of dangerous people over here,” added Jennifer Leonardo, a mother walking on Rider Avenue on Monday . “There’s people who are on drugs, homeless people, people that don’t even care.”
Leonardo wondered what the person who abandoned the child was thinking.
“You could have took him to the precinct. You could have took him anywhere. You could have took him to the hospital, right – somebody that wasn’t thinking at all,” she told Jones.
Crystal told Silverman she is relieved to hear the boy is all right.
“You don’t know what the mom is going through, but as long as he’s safe and in custody in someone’s hands who can take care of him, it might be better for him,” she said.
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