PERKINS TOWNSHIP, Ohio– A local man recorded a video of an infant left unattended at a restaurant and posted it to Facebook. The clip generated more than 4 million views and sparked debate online.
Many are criticizing the child’s mother and others are taking aim at the man who posted the video. Meanwhile, police are determining if a crime was committed.
The couple left the baby in the booth of a Chinese buffet near Sandusky while they filled their plates. Another customer, seemingly outraged that the child is alone, started recording. By his account, the infant sat alone for more than four minutes.
The Perkins Township Police Department launched an investigation into whether the video is evidence of child endangering.
“Can we say because the parent walked out of the screen shot of this video and left the child unattended in the booth that there was a significant risk of injury to that child? I’m not sure we can,” Chief Ken Klamar said.
The mother of the child took to Facebook to defend herself and told police the video is misleading because the child was never out of her sight.
“She alleges the person who took it intentionally moved the camera, if you will, in a way that she wouldn’t be seen on it to make it look worse than what it was,” Klamar said.
The video was removed Wednesday afternoon and the man who posted it said police asked him to give a sworn statement. Investigators said they would have a much better idea if the child was in danger if the man had used his cell phone to call 911, instead of recording the video.
“Especially when we’re talking about a child and the welfare of a child, call the police,” Klamar said.
Erie County Children Services opened an investigation.