A toddler in Florida left his daycare facility and walked across three lanes of traffic late last year, according to a new report and video recently released from the state’s Department of Health.
In the surveillance video, Mayson, 2, appears to unlock a door at the daycare center last November, walk down the ramp and into the road.
"I was on fire," his mother, Marissa Addison, told WFLA-TV in Tampa on Thursday about finding out her son had gone into the street.
Police officers responded after witnesses saw the little boy and called 9-1-1.
School officials later reportedly said Mayson likely got out by turning a lock he could reach.
Addison said the Here We Grow Learning Center in Clearwater had originally told her Mayson had briefly gotten out of the building but said nothing about being in the road.
It wasn’t until two weeks later that the mother got a fuller picture from a former employee who called her, according to the station. The same person also reportedly tipped off the Department of Health, which is in charge of licensing daycares in the state, with the surveillance video.
"I’m like – wait a minute, he got into the road? What do you mean he got into the road?" she told WFLA.
One of the daycare workers allegedly saw Mayson leaving during naptime, the station reported, but she said she didn’t want to leave the other kids alone so she radioed another employee to get him. By that time, however, the boy was already in traffic.
"I’m like ‘come back, Mayson, come back,’" a daycare worker can be heard telling a police officer on body camera footage after the incident, according to WFLA.
Surveillance video appears to show Mayson, 2, before he left his daycare center by himself and walked into traffic. (Florida Dept. of Health)
"My child, poor baby. Two years old, by himself – like where is the supervision?" Addison said in frustration to the station.
In 2021, 14 other violations allegedly occurred at the facility, an investigation by WFLA revealed, including a child repeatedly biting another child and an infant getting out of the classroom. The incidents allegedly weren’t reported to the parents by the facility, which is required.
The state inspected the facility after the former employee showed them the surveillance video and the daycare was fined $600 for lack of supervision and failure to report.
The facility was also required to submit a plan within a month ensuring "staff understand their responsibilities regarding supervision."
Addison said she felt the state’s response was lacking.
"They didn’t deal with the issue right away," she said. "This school was still open. Parents were still dropping their kids off, you know, still trusting them."
The daycare center decided to shut down voluntarily two months later and someone at the center told WFLA that it would be reopening with new owners.