Tag Archives: abandoned

Dog and blind caged cat left on Howard Beach sidewalk

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Giuseppina Licata


An apparently blind cat and a dog were found in Howard Beach on Friday, the dog’s leash attached to the cage that held the tabby.

Several residents noticed the cage on 91st Street between 159th and 160th avenues, and stood watch over the animals waiting for the owner to return, locals said.

After several hours, the residents called local shelters, but were told there was no room.

Pictures of the pets were posted on Facebook, which prompted one Howard Beach resident to take the dog in while another is holding on to the cat until a home can be found for it.



Shock at housing complex after newborn discovered

| aaltman@queenscourier.com


Residents of the Woodside Houses were in shock at what was left outside their complex.

“I couldn’t believe someone would do that,” said a resident, who is a mother of five. “Why wouldn’t she just take it to the hospital?”

The newborn baby girl is safe after being found abandoned outside the Woodside Houses on Sunday, August 19.

A police spokesperson said a woman called 9-1-1 around 11:27 p.m., saying she heard crying and saw a baby lying in the grass outside the housing project, located at 50-51 Broadway. Officials found the child wrapped in a blood-soaked bed sheet with the umbilical cord still attached. The baby was taken by police to Elmhurst Hospital where she is said to be in stable condition. The spokesperson did not know whether or not the caller was a resident of the complex.

According to a spokesperson from the Woodside Houses, the baby is of Asian descent.

Most residents said they had not heard about the incident until they saw the story on television.

According to New York State law, parents may leave unwanted babies at a police precinct, fire station or hospital without fear of prosecution under Safe-Haven laws. Mothers have up to 30 days after the child is born to take it to a proper location or give the baby to a person who will then be responsible for taking the child to a proper safe-haven location.

Timothy Jaccard, president and director of the New York State Children of Hope Safe Haven Program, believes the mother of the little girl wanted to legally relinquish the baby because she left the child in a location where she could be easily found. He claimed she most likely attempted to properly abandon the child but feared she would be identified.

Jaccard also believes the woman made several calls to his organization’s hotline, adding that he recalled the woman being unable to speak English.

Jaccard said an individual’s economic situations can lead him or her to feel unable to support a child, causing panic and possible abandonment. Abandoned babies, according to Jaccard, are most frequently left in doorways. Exceptionally young mothers frequently stash newborns in closets or under their bed, mirroring the child-like behavior of hiding something from a parent.

Police are now searching for the parents of the abandoned baby.

Little girl left on bus; driver charged

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo by Anthony DelMundo

Police parked a private bus driver in prison after she left her vehicle unattended — with a toddler still aboard.

Officers from the 110th Precinct responded to Christie Avenue and 99th Street in Corona at 9 a.m. on April 12 after receiving a 9-1-1 call from a Con Edison worker who spotted a child in the driver’s seat of a parked bus. Upon arrival at the scene, cops discovered two-year-old Samantha Bustamante abandoned inside the unattended private vehicle, which is operated by Anita Bus Company.

The police proceeded to break a window and remove the toddler, who they believe was left alone for roughly 15 minutes. Bustamante was taken back to the 110th Precinct, where she was reunited with her mother. EMS also responded to the precinct to evaluate the girl and determined she was in good physical condition.

“I was scared – terrified,” said mom Sandra Ramos, 24. “I started crying on the phone, but the police were telling me she was fine. I was terrified for my baby.”

Bustamante was picked up from her Elmhurst home at 7:20 a.m. by the Anita Bus and was supposed to be dropped off at Kathy’s Day Care, located at 97-30 57th Avenue in Corona, at roughly 8:30 a.m. with four other children. However, police say the driver, 62-year-old Ana Garcia, missed the girl while checking the vehicle after the other children departed.

Garcia was arrested by police after she returned to the bus and has been charged with failure to exercise control of a minor. She is also legally forbidden from coming near Bustamante. The NYPD says the Corona resident went home after parking the bus.

Attempts to contact Garcia were unsuccessful as of press time, and Anita Bus’ phone was not accepting incoming calls. Ramos says she paid for Anita Bus through Kathy’s Day Care, but a representative from the center would not comment as to whether they referred the bus service.

When Ramos received a call from the day care center informing her that her daughter had not been dropped off, she immediately called Garcia’s cell phone, but found police on the other end of the line. She initially suspected she was the victim of a practical joke, but her calm quickly turned to panic when the cops’ description matched Bustamante.

The frantic mother was then picked up from her job in Manhattan and brought to the station by police, where she found her daughter playing with officers and serving them coffee.

“When I first saw her, I started crying and I hugged my mom so my daughter wouldn’t see me. I didn’t want her to see the fear I had,” Ramos recollected. “She seemed so unaware – so brave in the situation. I guess she didn’t comprehend what happened so I didn’t want her to see me crying. I hugged my baby as hard as I could.”

Garcia’s son apologized to Ramos at the 110th Precinct, but she still has not been given an explanation for the mishap. She says she provides the bus company with a car seat for her daughter, and she is upset the child was unstrapped and able to walk to the driver’s seat.

“She was not in her car seat. She was walking around and that’s how they saw her,” Ramos said. “She was unbuckled and roaming around in the bus. It just shows their carelessness. Even if she was asleep or not tied in they are also supposed to check the bus. It’s frustrating.”

Despite the fear she initially felt for her daughter’s safety, Ramos is now happy just to have Bustamante safe and sound and is thankful a “good person” spotted her in the bus.
“What if it was someone else who passed by, someone not as good as the 9-1-1 caller – then they could have broken that window and taken my baby. I don’t even want to think about that. I want to think about having her,” Ramos said. “This is like a second chance for my daughter, and I’m just glad that I have her. I’m upset at the situation, but I’m happy with the result because I have my daughter safe.”