Allan Chavarria-Rodriguez, a young boy of a Denver parent was abducted Wednesday morning by Ryan Stone, a wanted 28-year-old who is facing drug charges. Fortunately for the child, the hijacker left the child safe half an hour later. It begs to question though, with this 4-year-old abduction in Colorado, why this trend of negligent parents continues to occur across the nation?
This incident in Colorado began when Chavarria-Rodriguez’s mom went into a nearby store. While she was inside, Stone stole her sport utility vehicle, which so happened to have the 4-year-old in the back seat.
Stone immediately fled the scene as he raced down Interstate 25, which is what caught the attention of a State Patrol officer. It was during this time that the chase was featured on the news courtesy of television helicopters; however, realizing he was being followed tightly, the accused stopped the vehicle, fled and hijacked a nearby minivan. One carjacking later and Stone found himself in custody.
While Stone was a desperate man trying to escape authorities, the glaring problem is the mother who left her child unattended in her sport utility vehicle. This unfortunately has become too common of an occurrence in the US.
Parents think it is no big deal to leave their kid in the car. They say their errands will only take a few minutes; however, a few minutes is all it can take especially when most of these vehicles remain unlocked. In fact, this year alone there has been a significant trend of negligent parents that continues weekly as was shown today in the abduction of the 4-year-old Chavarria-Rodriguez.
On December 31 thru January 1, a 3-year-old girl was abducted in Oklahoma City when she was left in a vehicle outside of a home. This is when Aimee Webb stole the vehicle and kidnapped the child. Thankfully, due to an Amber Alert featured on the television, an owner of a nearby house spotted the vehicle and let the abductor inside, which is when they contacted authorities. Soon after, Webb was taken into custody.
Another event happened in Bartlett, a suburb of Chicago on January 10 when a baby of 18 months was taken in her mother’s SUV. Luckily in this case the baby was returned in a driveway later that morning, which was approximately a mile from the initial theft.
These are just two examples, and unfortunately it has turned into too common of an occurrence. Parents have a responsibility to their children. Not only for raising them right but for being their protector as well. No parent should leave their child in a vehicle unsupervised. Instead, they need to either find a babysitter or they need to bring it inside with them as they shop or have their appointment.
Furthermore, what people don’t realize is that in most states leaving their child in the vehicle is a crime. In one such instance in New Jersey that transpired in 2009, a woman went to a party store for five minutes while her child of 19 months was sleeping in her vehicle. Unfortunately for the mother, by the time she returned the police were present and in turn arrested her. In court, the judge ruled that leaving any child unattended can be charged with abuse or neglect.
The reason for this is simple as is evident in the cases listed. At any point in time whether the carjacker wants to or not, a trespasser can enter the vehicle and kidnap the young child, and as a result can put the child in grave danger.
Thankfully today’s crime ended with the child’s safety intact; however, hopefully it will be a sign to many child bearers to pay closer attention to their kids. While this mother in Colorado remained unscathed from this abduction of her 4-year-old, parents need to understand that if their trend of being negligent continues, they may be charged or worse yet, have their kid taken away from them.
Opinion by Simon Mounsey