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(Photo credit: Alexandru Cuznetov)

Lyft Driver Rescues Toddler Walking Alone on a Rainy Night

KCBS Radio Afternoon News
February 14, 2019 - 4:06 pm

A Lyft driver picked up an unexpected passenger earlier this week — a toddler walking by herself in the rain late at night in Santa Rosa.

The driver, Del Hedrick, saw the 18 month-old girl walking alone near Liana and Biwana Drives in the Roseland neighborhood around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to police. 

He scooped the toddler up and searched the nearby apartment complex for an open door or the girl’s family. Unable to do so, Hedrick, a father of two himself, kept the girl warm and safe, cradling her inside his vehicle.

“Well, I’m dropping somebody off at this apartment complex, and I found this little baby walking around with no shoes on. No nothing. Cops are on their way,” Hedrick said in a video message shared by the Santa Rosa Police.

When police arrived, they were able to locate the girl’s family and take her home.

Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Jeneane Kucker told KCBS Radio that the child somehow got out through the front door.

Police believe the child's mother failed to communicate that she had left for work, and the man watching the child wasn't aware she'd left. The child was tall enough to open the door herself, and likely went looking for her mom.

No criminal charges are being considered.

In a Facebook post, Santa Rosa police say Hedrick’s actions demonstrate how everyone working together keeps their community safe.

“His initiative to shelter the toddler and help reunite her with her family is both heartening and inspiring,” the post states. “On behalf of the Santa Rosa Police Department and our community, thank you for helping a member of our community in-need. It is because of people like you that our community is #SantaRosaStrong.”