It was reported on Firday that a young boy in near Dallas left a daycare center in the middle of the day and started on an adventure that ended at Hooters. It’s a bizarre story to say the least.
Here is the report from The Denton Record-Chronicle :
Boy exits child care, goes to Hooters
07:04 AM CDT on Thursday, July 24, 2008
A 5-year-old boy slipped out of the Imagination Station child care center unnoticed Tuesday afternoon, crossed two busy streets and wandered to a restaurant on the Interstate 35E service road in 100-degree heat. Employees of Hooters found the child safe about 5:20 p.m. He left the child care center in the 2300 block of San Jacinto Boulevard, crossed the Interstate 35E northbound service road and Dallas Drive, bought a soft drink at a service station and walked to Hooters, where an employee found him in the parking lot and called police. Deborah Pugh, who owns the child care business, said Wednesday that the boy asked to go to the bathroom and then slipped out a fire exit door, which must, by law, remain unlocked.
“It was just really fast,” Pugh said. “When the parent came for him we said he was in the bathroom. But we looked and realized he wasn’t, and we called police.” Denton police spokesman Jim Bryan said someone from the child care center called 911 at 5:04 p.m., saying the child was missing. Officers searched the immediate vicinity and could not find the boy.
“At 5:20 p.m., while the officer was on the scene at the child care center, the assistant manager of Hooters called police,” Bryan said. “He said they had found a boy wandering in the parking lot.” The officer responded to Hooters and brought the boy back to the Imagination Station, where he was released to his father, Bryan said. “He was unharmed and in good condition,” the officer said.
According to the National Weather Service, the temperature was 100 degrees at 5 p.m. A spokesman at Hooters said employees were not allowed to talk to the press. Bryan said police are investigating the incident. The child care licensing division of Child Protective Services is investigating as well, he said. State records show that in April, Imagination Station was cited for violation of Section 746.1230(4) of the Child Care Standards and Regulations — Responsibilities of caregivers — supervision of children.
“It was determined that staff were not supervising properly. Two children were found involved in inappropriate contact while the caregivers were engaged in activities with other groups of children,” according to the citation posted on the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Web site. Child care centers with few violations are considered “Plan 3,” according to information provided by the licensing agency. Centers considered “Plan 2” are inspected twice a year. Imagination Station is considered a “Plan 1” center with required inspections four times a year. Since January, inspectors have visited the center once a month, according to the agency’s Web site.