Wendy's Employee Saves Barely Clothed Toddler Alone in Roadway in Middle of Night

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Our brains are powerful computers. All day long they’re busy collecting data and turning them into actionable content.

Most of the time they do a pretty good job distilling various stimuli into basic commands that keep us functioning. Sometimes, though, when we experience something completely unexpected, it takes them a moment to tell us what’s going on.

Daniel Hunter probably experienced something like that when confronting a situation quite foreign to his daily job at Wendy’s. To be fair, the scene he witnessed would have been disconcerting for anyone.

It was late Monday night when Hunter left the fast-food restaurant and saw a young child running in the street. Wearing nothing but boots, a shirt, and a diaper, the little girl was crying and headed for traffic, according to WKRG.

“I was like, wait, that’s a kid,” Hunter recalled, turning to his dad who was there to pick him up from work. “Dad, that’s a kid. He was like wait, what? That’s a kid.”

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“So he turned around and did a 180 and as we were driving she had crossed the street and was trying to make her way across Eglin (Parkway).

“She ran and I was like this … Come on. Come here … and she ran to me and hugged me and was crying for her mom.”

Apparently, the 3-year-old had fallen asleep at her family’s apartment. The dad needed to go pick his wife up from work and left her at home because he didn’t want to disturb her.

At some point, the child woke up and went looking for her parents. She managed to find her way outside and wandered around in the 44-degree weather until Hunter spotted her.

Obviously, the dad’s reasoning was not a good enough reason for the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s office, who arrested the father and charged him with child neglect.

“The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office arrested 25-year old Kenneth Lopez Toledo of Kelly Avenue,” the office wrote on Facebook. “Toledo admitted he left the child at home sleeping while he went to pick up his wife at her place of employment.

“When they got back to the apartment the little girl was missing. Lopez Toledo says he didn’t want to wake the girl so left her at the residence; however he took another child, a two year old, with him when he left to pick up his wife at the Fort Walton Beach Walmart.”

According to Hunter, the father was overjoyed to have his daughter back in his arms.

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“When he saw her he hugged her for dear life. He was very emotional about it,” Hunter said. “Understandable.”

The father has since been released from jail. Hopefully, he’s learned his lesson.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking