NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A mother has been reunited with her son after her ex-boyfriend allegedly picked the child up from daycare without her permission and then abandoned the boy in Harlem.
Alandria Clark’s nearly 2-year-old son Devine, nicknamed DJ, was found alone outside a brownstone on West 132nd Street around 11 a.m. Thursday.
Police said they are searching for Clark’s ex-boyfriend, 22-year-old Antonio Staton, who allegedly took DJ from Patricia’s Childcare — a daycare run out of an apartment building on West 127th Street — and then abandoned him blocks away.
Clark said it was retaliation.
“He did it to get me back because I didn’t want to be with him,” she said.
Her nightmare began around 8:30 a.m. Thursday when she said Staton followed her as she dropped her son off, then continued to follow her as she went to class. Then around 10 a.m., she said daycare workers told her that Staton returned, flashed a fake ID and they let the little boy leave with him, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
“I’m upset with the daycare,” Clark said. “It’s my child, it’s a child. And she should’ve cared, she should’ve thought more.”
Clark spent the day Friday battling in court to prove Staton picked up her son without her knowledge.
“It was horrible. My son is everything to me,” she said. “I’m going to fight for my son.”
The daycare shut its doors on CBS2’s cameras Friday, but Clark recorded her conversation with the owner and shared it with us.
“I’m a mom, too. I was heartbroken,” the woman said. “I saw the guy downstairs… I thought he was your boyfriend and that he know DJ.”
The Department of Health is now investigating the daycare, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported.
Police said after leaving the child, Staton tossed a hooded jacket into a garbage can, along with a bag of diapers. He was last seen heading north on Eighth Avenue.
“I never thought he would do all of this, come for my baby,” Clark said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782), visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.