KENTWOOD, Mich. — Two Michigan bus drivers are credited for helping a 2-year-old return to his parents after a carjacker took the child.
The situation started Tuesday morning on 48th Street and Marlette Avenue in Kentwood. Police say the toddler's parents were standing near their car, waiting to put another child on an approaching school bus.
That's when someone jumped into the running car and drove off. The toddler was inside.
The school bus video, released to WXMI following a Freedom of Information Act request, showed the parents flagging down Dave Skinner, a Kelloggsville school bus driver.
Skinner said the parents were frantic and asked him to call 911.
“When you get close enough, you can see the look in mom and dad's eyes you knew something was wrong,” Skinner said. “It's kind of a judgment call, so I stopped.”
He called the police and also radioed his colleagues about the situation.
A few moments later, one of those co-workers, Sue Figueroa, said she passed the 2-year-old.
“The direction she came from, she had seen a child standing on the side of the road with a blanket,” Skinner said. “I'm still dealing with mom and dad. And then Kristen Nickelson (the district's director of transportation) gets on the radio and tells her to turn around and go back and pick the child up.”
Nickelson was at the office and told Figueroa everything that was going on.
Figueroa turned her bus around, and the video showed the toddler sitting on a driveway near the intersection of Garland St. and Jefferson Ave.
The video showed Figueroa get off the bus, pick the toddler up and bring him back on. She then drove the child back to his parents.
The video showed the emotional reunion.
According to Kelloggsville Public Schools, roughly 10 minutes had passed between when the car was stolen and the reunion. Investigators say the crime appears to be random.
Officers say they found the stolen car in Grand Rapids shortly after it was snatched.
At last check, police have not arrested a suspect.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kentwood Police Department Detective Bureau at 616-656-6604. Anonymous tips can be submitted through Silent Observer at 616-774-2345 or SilentObserver.org.