A Chicago native has been charged with child endangerment, having run on foot from her car following an accident. In fleeing, she left behind a 3-year-old boy in the vehicle, according to police.
The resident involved is Chiqutia S. Russel, who lives on North Springfield Avenue. She was given multiple charges, including endangering the life and welfare of a child, driving without a license, failure to have insurance and leaving the scene of a vehicular accident, according to Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Laura Kubiak.
Russel returned to the accident scene, which was at the 1800 block of North Karlov Avenue. A witness identified her as the driver of the 2001 Chrysler, and said that she had fled the scene. Police arrested her immediately.
After she had fled the scene of the 9:35 pm accident, the police found the child in the back of the vehicle. According to officials, the child is the son of Russel's boyfriend. Thankfully, there was no indication the boy had been injured, according to police.
Following the filing of charges, Russel was assigned a court date of May 24th. The Illinois Department of Children and Family services has stated it intends to investigate the case. They have also stressed that they did not have prior contact with the family for any child services matters.
There is no word on the condition of the driver in the other vehicle involved in the car accident.
The charges are serious, carrying the potential for extensive fines and jail time. The child endangerment charge alone carries the potential of 10 years of jail time, while the other offenses carry jail times around several months of imprisonment and fines that can total approximately $5,000-$10,000, depending on the discretion of the court.
A call to Russel's residence reached a gentleman who insisted that the incident was a misunderstanding, and that she had not left the child behind.