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Good Samaritans rescue Arizona toddlers who wandered into road after escaping daycare

Happy Dayz daycare.png
Posted at 9:47 AM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 11:47:33-05

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Two good Samaritans in Arizona helped get a group of toddlers out of a major roadway after the children wandered away from a Glendale daycare Monday.

Glendale police say the group of seven or eight toddlers, all between the ages of one and three, got out of Happy Dayz Daycare at 45th Avenue and Olive through a gate that was left unsecured.

“I was just terrified,” said Alexis Tatman.

Tatman and her child were headed east on Olive Avenue after 10 a.m. Monday.

As they got closer to 43rd Avenue, Tatman says she saw cars stopped in both directions on the road.

Her instincts kicked in when she says she saw the toddlers outside this daycare facility, and some of them were in the street.

"None of them were speaking, none of them had a jacket on, none of them had shoes on, they were, I assume, two,” said Tatman.

Tatman says she and another driver who stopped to help, started to wrangle the children and looked for where they could have come from.

"Nobody was outside, nobody was in the playground area until we started yelling and babies were distraught," said Tatman.

They were able to safely move the children and they were given back to workers at the daycare.

When police arrived, the children were already back at the daycare. Police say staff members believe a gate was left unsecured, and then closed and locked when workers attempted to get to the children outside.

Brittney McCallum is Tatman's sister and works as a full-time nanny.

"It was such a gut-wrenching feeling, hearing that,” said McCallum.

She shared her sister's story on social media.

"The reactions I got, so many people were so mad and upset and scared for the children, it's a scary situation for a two-year-old, you can't imagine what they were feeling,” said McCallum.

The state's most recent licensing inspection report shows the daycare received 11 citations that ranged from insufficient emergency contact information, toxic substances within reach of children, and playground hazards.

Police say no criminal act was documented in the incident, but a report was filed and the Arizona Department of Health Services Child Care Facilities and Licensing has been notified of the incident.

No injuries were reported.

Clayton Klapper and Jordan Bontke at KNXV first reported this story.