Family speaks out for wandering 2-year-old's mom

Posted at 11:50 AM, Feb 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-03 18:21:56-05

CINCINNATI -- A mother is out of jail on bond and facing a child endangering charge after police said they found her 2-year-old son wandering alone near a Westwood apartment complex Tuesday.

Cincinnati police officers went beyond expectations when they responded to a report of the small boy wandering without shoes or socks on Montana Avenue early Tuesday morning.

Officer Jamie Landrum bought a coat, pants, shoes and fresh diapers for the 2-year-old while Officer Will Nastold laid on the floor of the District Three police station to help ease the boy to sleep, according to a post on the "Support The Blue With FOP #69" Facebook page.

Cincinnati Police Officer Will Nastold lies on the floor playing with a 2 year old found wandering Westwood overnight.

The child remained at the police station until about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, when his mother, Tanisha Caldwell, 28, arrived to pick him up.

Police reports state officers arrested Caldwell on charges of child endangering when they noticed alcohol on her breath and she admitted to drinking the night before.

The arresting officer reportedly stated this is not the first time Caldwell's 2-year-old had been able to leave their apartment on his own and that Caldwell had made no attempts to prevent it from reoccurring.

Caldwell appeared in Hamilton County Municipal Court Wednesday afternoon, after which family members posted the required 10 percent of the $1,000 bond assigned by Judge Brad Greenberg.

Caldwell's mother, Tonya, spoke in court on her daughters behalf, saying, "It was not her fault. It could have happened to anybody."

Caldwell's family told WCPO they are grateful for what they called Greenberg's "leniency," and that she will not have to spend more time behind bars awaiting trial.

"I was scared, you know, for me but for her also because I thought she was really just done," said Tonya Caldwell, Tanisha's mother.

"I'm glad it was the outcome like it was," she said. "I appreciate the judge being lenient and gave her the benefit of the doubt because it could've been worse than it is."

Tanisha's cousin, Carla Dixon, told WCPO she hopes the experience is an educational one: "Somebody could have taken him or anything," she said. "It's just a wake-up call."

Greenberg ruled that, for the duration of the case, Tanisha cannot have any contact with her son. He also ordered the mother to develop a safety plan. 

Tanisha will appear in court again on Feb. 22.