Police are investigating a possible case of child endangerment after a passerby found a 2-year-old alone in the street, wearing only a dirty diaper and carrying a knife.
According to authorities, officers were called to a medical office in the 100 block of Shepherd Street at 9:18 a.m. Friday. A witness found the child wandering around the street. It was not clear what kind of knife the child had. Attempts to locate the toddler’s parents were unsuccessful, so the woman left the child at the office and went back out to resume the search.
The witness found a man in a creek and asked if he was looking for a child. The man was evasive, police said, telling the witness he didn’t know. The witness followed the man to a home on Brookside Place. Another man came out of the house and said he had been watching the child.
The second man, identified as Johnnie Schriver of Sonora, said he thought the child was playing in the backyard. But when he went to check, the child was missing and the side gate was open.
Schriver told police the toddler had been missing for 10 minutes, but investigators determined it was more than 20 minutes. They turned the child over to Child Welfare Services and submitted a report to the Tuolumne County District Attorney’s office for review. A charge of child endangerment could follow.