A Queens woman is being heralded as a hero after helping a little girl who had been abandoned.
Mishka Peart saw little “Emma” wandering around near a busy intersection, wearing a surgical mask, and carrying two bags of her belongings. She pulled over and asked the little girl if she needed help.
“They drove off and left me,” Emma said when Peart asked the child where her parents were according to a report in the New York Daily News. The woman drove the girl to a nearby park where she flagged down to school safety officers who were patrolling the area. They, in turn, called the police.
The distressing report reads that Emma’s mother, Patrice Chambers, and boyfriend Mark Pamphile left the child at the intersection because they were “frustrated.”
The couple allegedly called Emma’s biological father, Kermit Watson, and told him, “You better come get your daughter,” Pamphile said in a voicemail, “She is crying like a little b—-.”
Watson later said that he has not seen his daughter in four years since the relationship with her mother ended.
Chambers and Pamphile are both from Long Island, NY; they were later found and arrested. They are charged with child abandonment, endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment. They are facing up to four years in prison if convicted.
Emma was handed over to child welfare services who will place her with a relative.
According to a separate Daily News report, child abuse reports in New York have dropped 54%. However, the Administration for Children’s Services does not attribute the decrease to a lessening in abuse, but believe it is because schools are closed in the state.
“In normal times we get a significant number of reports from schools, teachers, administrators, and school nurses,” said ACS Commissioner David Hansell. He said that other sources like therapists and healthcare providers are also not seeing children as often due to the pandemic. They are currently relying on other ways of reporting to uncover signs of child abuse.
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