A 2-year-old boy was found crying in the bushes in front of Shark’s Fish and Chicken Chicago Style restaurant in Macon, Georgia on Feb. 8.
The boy had been abandoned by his mother, Kalandra Hightower, 23, who left him in front of the restaurant. He is now in the custody of his grandmother.
Vitalia Taylor, an employee at the restaurant, saw a car pull up to the restaurant. She then saw Hightower get out of the vehicle, get something out of the back seat and drive away quickly - almost hitting the tree on her way out. “She just set him by the bushes, slammed the car and took off,” Taylor told WMAZ.
“Just crazy, man. I was shocked,” Ibrahim Oudat, who owns the restaurant, told The Telegraph. “He was crying. He was looking around for some help, so I came back. I hugged him.”
Half an hour later, Hightower came back to claim her son, accompanied by his grandmother, Cassandra Rhodes.
“They came back, zooming in here, and they were shocked to see four police cars already here,” Oudat said.
Hightower admitted to police that she left her son at the restaurant. She was subsequently charged with cruelty to children and sent to Bibb County Jail.
“I just think Kalandra was depressed, and she was going through some problems, and she needed help,” Rhodes told The Telegraph. “I do have to say Kalandra is a good mother, and I know she loves her kids. And to all the folks who are talking about her, even on Facebook and social media, y’all got it wrong. My baby’s just got problems, and she needs help.”
The incident is still under investigation.