Mother's boyfriend accused of leaving child

Mother's boyfriend arrested
March 6, 2008 4:05:55 PM PST
A Long Island man is under arrest Thursday, facing serious charges after police say he left his girlfriend's 4-year-old daughter home alone.The child was found wandering the streets.

Long Island reporter Emily Smith has the story.

Police say the helpless little girl, crying for help, ran right up to a man in his car at a particularly busy intersection.

Cops say she is lucky she's safe after being left alone for at least 30 minutes. They say 24-year-old Elifelet Pacheco Cortes' choices Wednesday night reckless and evil. He allegedly left the child to fend for herself while he went out for a phone card.

"No reason for that," police sergeant Thomas O'Shea said. "What's the emergency in buying a phone card? I can't see any reason to leave the child alone."

Police say the pre-schooler left her home by herself at about 7 p.m., walking directly into traffic on Route 25. She was apparently looking for her mom's boyfriend. Police say Cortes was supposed to be babysitting. Neighbors say it's just crazy.

"You're leaving a 4-year-old?" one neighbor said. "You don't leave anyone in this day and age.'

The wandering child went up to a motorist and pointing out her home, located above a stereo store on the same street.

The man, a perfect stranger, walked her to the apartment, but no one was there to take her. The child's mother declined to comment.

Pat Young says she knows the Good Samaritan, Rodger Rau. Young says it's no surprise he did the right thing, possibly saving the child's life.

"That child could've been struck and killed," she said. "I mean, that's your child."

Police have charged Cortes with endangering the welfare of a child. He faces a year in jail. The girl was released to her mother shortly after the arrest.