State Police find boy, 3, playing along U.S. 522
A three-year-old toddler was spotted by State Police Sgt. C. A. Mahood playing alone in the Warm Springs Restaurant parking lot, apparently getting ready to cross heavily traveled U.S. 522.
"I stopped the car, turned on the lights and stopped traffic. Then I put the boy in the police car," Mahood said.
Mahood said he was returning from Magistrate Court in Berkeley Springs at 10:50 a.m. on Tuesday morning, October 2, when he saw the child.
Mahood, Deputy T. J. Johnson and Deputy Kevin Barney canvassed the area looking for the boy's parents. A citizen finally recognized the boy as belonging to the Kerns' residence on Hobday Lane.
Hobday Lane is over a quarter of a mile from the restaurant. Mahood estimated the boy had been away from home for at least an hour and a half.
Acording to police, when Mahood and Johnson arrived at the residence, they found the front door was open. On entering, the police found Travis Thompson of Wilson Court, Berkeley Springs, on the couch shoving something into his pocket. It turned out to be a bag of marijuana. Thompson was charged with possession of, less than 15 grams.
According to Mahood, during the confrontation with Thompson, the boy's mother, Miranda J. Kerns, came into the living room from the bedroom where she had been asleep. Kerns was not charged.
Police turned the boy over to the Department of Health and Human Resources Child Protective Services. The boy was placed with a relative pending an in home study to determine if and when the child will be returned home. The boy's father was reportedly at work during the incident.
"He is a beautiful, stable and well-cared for child. He had a great time riding around in the police car. I enjoyed my time with him," Mahood said.