Beach lures missing, adventurous kids from home
| 5-year-old boy who was missing from home was injured by a car while attempting to cross Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach Nov. 26. He received a minor head abrasion. Islander Photo: Paul Roat
Two children ages 5 and 7 were reported missing early Sunday morning, Nov. 26, after they apparently attempted to take a stroll on the beach alone.
According to the report, the father of the 5-year-old woke up at approximately 6 a.m. to take a walk on the beach. Before leaving, he woke his son, and his son's cousin, to inquire if they wanted to join him as they had almost every other morning. The kids chose to sleep in and the father left - leaving them and the cousin's mother sleeping.
When the father returned approximately three hours later, he noticed the kids were not in bed and asked the mother of the 7-year-old where they were. She said she thought they had gone on the walk with him.
When police arrived, the woman told them the boys had been sleeping on a pull-out couch near the door which was locked, but either child could have unlocked it.
Police began searching the area and a trolley driver reported seeing one of the missing boys in the 2300 block of Gulf Drive. Moments later, the mother of the 7-year-old boy received a call on her cell phone from a gentleman advising that he had found her son at the Circle K store.
At this same time, Bradenton Beach Police responded to the scene of an accident involving a vehicle and a child who was identified as the missing 5-year-old boy.
According to the report, the boy was running across Gulf Drive North and ran into the path of a vehicle that was stopped, or slowed to almost a complete stop. The boy was taken to Blake Medical Center, although he had suffered only a minor abrasion to his forehead.
According to the report, it wasn't clear if his injury was from the car, or from falling down.
The boys had apparently changed their minds about taking a morning stroll on the beach and left the house to join the younger boy's father. The 7-year-old admitted to unlocking the door so that they could sneak out while his mother was still asleep.
Holmes Beach Police Lt. Dale Stephenson said parents who are concerned their young children might be equally adventurous should install a double lock, or eyehole screw with a hook at a height their children can't easily reach.