Johannesburg - For a Port Elizabeth toddler, the men in blue became his knights in shining armour.
This was after two police officers from Humewood police station’s Crime Prevention Unit climbed to his rescue on Tuesday morning to pluck him from the third floor of an apartment block in Govan Mbeki Avenue, where the boy, 19-months-old, was hanging from a window.
“We were patrolling the area in our vehicle when we saw a group of people waving us down and pointing towards the building. We saw the boy crying and ran towards the building,” Constable Jeronomo Blignaut told The Star.
Blignaut was with his partner, Constable Siya Cakwebe.
“We climbed up via the outside of the building and rescued the boy, but when we went inside to look for his parents, no one answered,” he said.
The officers left a message that if anyone asked for the boy, they would have to go find him at the police station.
“Two hours later, we got a call that the mother had reported the child as missing,” said Annelize Jerlize, co-ordinator of the Domestic Violence Unit.
“But before handing the child back to her, we had a long talk. She blamed her sister, who she left to care for the child. The sister shifted the blame to the uncle as she was in the shower at the time, and the uncle completed the blame circle by pointing fingers at the mother.”
Jerlize said the mother – a single parent – had since had to compile a report to the provincial Department of Social Development.
And the building’s caretaker had been instructed to install burglar bars on the window.