Cohoes Police arrested a father on Monday who they say wasn't paying close enough attention to his daughter when she wandered a quarter mile from her home, alone and naked last week.
The father, Sean Smith, 38, pleaded not guilty to a child endangerment charge in City Court Monday evening.
We tried to catch up with Smith after his arraignment, but he quickly told us, “Don’t put that camera in my face.”
Police said he was responsible for watching his two-year-old daughter last Wednesday afternoon.
During that time, police said the little girl got out of her house, wandered about a quarter mile, and was found at nearby George Street Park wearing nothing but one slipper on her foot.
“He didn't even realize she was gone,” said Police Chief Bill Heslin. “He said he just checked on her five minutes before, but the investigation revealed, in fact, at least a fifteen minute delay.”
Chief Heslin said that's just one of three similar incidents last week.
On Tuesday, Ramminie Sakhichand, owner of Nathan’s Deli on Bridge Avenue, spotted a two-year-old boy running through a dangerous nearby intersection, also naked and alone.
“He was just running down the street, first thing I felt his heart and it was like pounding, he had no clothes on, no nothing,” Sakhichand said.
On Friday, police say another toddler was found walking on Remsen Street without any supervision.
“In at least two of the cases, there were extreme dangerous conditions,” Heslin said.
With the threat of speeding cars, water, and steep drop-offs, Chief Heslin said it's a miracle these the kids made it home safe and sound.
“Parents need to step up and be a lot more aware of where their children are and what their children are doing,” he said. “I want to really thank our lucky stars that these children are okay.”
Sean Smith is due back in court next month.
Chief Heslin told us the other two cases are still under investigation and the parents could face charges.