The volatile relationship of two London parents exploded into police charges for both Wednesday after their baby was found alone and freezing outside a home.
There’s much more to the story than the police charges, according to the family of the mother, the mother herself and the Facebook narrative of the father.
But police say their focus at the moment is on the baby being safe and sound.
“It’s quite alarming,” Const. Ken Steeves said Wednesday. “Under the circumstances it ended well considering how it could have ended.”
Temperatures hovered around –4 C Tuesday morning while the eight-week-old boy was strapped in a car seat on a driveway on Emery St. for four hours.
Last week, they dipped to –15 C at the same time.
“We are fortunate this didn’t occur a week ago,” Steeves said.
Police released the names of the parents charged.
Because the child is now under the care of the Children’s Aid Society, The Free Press will not identify the child by identifying the parents.
According to the father’s Facebook page, he and the woman started a relationship in June, when she was already pregnant with their baby.
At times over the next few months, he often gushed about their love, and showed photographs of her name tattooed on his arm.
But there are posts as well about his bitterness about breaking up now and then.
Meanwhile, he was dealing with criminal charges and jail sentences, ending up under house arrest while the baby was born in January.
It appears his house arrest was over sometime in February.
London police got involved in the couple’s relationship at 1:48 a.m. March 10 when they stopped a vehicle heading north on Wellington Rd. at Grey St.
They arrested the female driver, the mother of the child, for driving while impaired by drugs.
The woman herself told CJBK radio that she thought she’d put the baby in the vehicle with her, and drove away.
The woman said when she was arrested, she asked police about the baby but they must have looked in the truck and seen nothing.
Police disputed that account.
“Police had no idea there was a baby anywhere,” Steeves said.
At 5:40 a.m. Tuesday, Anthony Franze was about to head to work when he heard crying, and found the baby at the end of his neighbour’s driveway. The baby’s hands were icy cold and his car seat covered with frost.
Police said when they were called they checked the house to see if any other children were at risk and found the infant’s father, who had been sleeping.
The 31-year-old St. Thomas man was under a probation order not to be at the house. Police said he had consumed alcohol, another violation of the probation order.
He’s charged with two counts of breach of probation and will appear in court April 1.
The 31-year-old mother is charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life and abandoning a child.
With files from Free Press reporter Randy Richmond