Baby rescued from bad scene


Wed, October 6, 2004

A baby boy was rescued from a downtown apartment after authorities discovered in the suite a prostitute, her customer, and then the parents high on drugs, say cops. "That's not the kind of environment any child should live in," cop spokesman Annette Bidniak said yesterday. Police went to a first-floor apartment near 107 Avenue and 107 Street Saturday morning after someone complained that a prostitute and her customer were using drugs in the suite where the four-month-old boy was present.

"The caller, the complainant, was familiar with the individuals," said Bidniak.

Patrol officers went to the suite and asked the visitors to leave. The prostitute and the customer left, said police.

Cops had no grounds then to apprehend the child, but the patrol officers asked for a follow-up visit to be done by the Child at Risk Response Team (CARRT), which is made up of one cop and one social worker.

A CARRT team went back around 10:45 p.m. Saturday and found the baby's parents - a 35-year-old mother and a 25-year-old father - drunk on booze and high on drugs.

Crack pipes and signs of "excessive" alcohol consumption were also found in the suite, said police.

The CARRT team got an apprehension order from a justice of the peace to remove the child from the home, but the father wouldn't let his son go.

"The father tried to stop the apprehension and a struggle ensued (with the police)," said Bidniak.

Cops called for backup. The man was restrained and arrested. The child was placed in temporary foster care.

A 25-year-old man, who cannot be named under the Child Welfare Act, is charged with assaulting a police officer with intent to resist arrest, and obstruction of a police officer.

Alberta Children's Services Lorelei Fiset-Cassidy said the department's children protection crisis line gets 10,000 to 12,000 calls a month for the Edmonton area concerning children believed to be at risk. About 90 to 120 children a month in the Edmonton area are put into emergency care, either in a group home, with foster parents or extended family.

The most common reason is negligence or family violence.