LINTHICUM, Md. (WJZ) — A toddler is safe after neighbors find him wandering the streets alone in the early morning hours.
It happened in Linthicum.
As Gigi Barnett reports, the boy’s parents are now honoring neighbors and officers who worked to get the 3-year-old back home.
“I just couldn’t believe my eyes. Really. I was dumbfounded,” said neighbor Andrew Hoffman.
In the early morning hours last Tuesday, Andrew Hoffman decided to take a drive down Maple Road in Linthicum.
He didn’t get far before making a shocking discovery.
“I saw it at the last second. I looked to my right and there’s a little boy walking down the sidewalk. A little blonde-haired boy,” said Hoffman.
It was 3-year-old Paulie Marshall. Somehow, he’d unlocked the front door and made his way out onto the sidewalk. The toddler was a mile away from home.
“He’s just a trooper. He’s just walking down the road like he knows where he’s going,” Hoffman said.
The cops arrived, and began driving him from house to house.
“We’d pull up to a house and ask him: ‘Is this your house? And he’d say nope,'” said Cpl. Steven Taylor, Anne Arundel Co. Police.
They asked neighbors.
“He was fearless. We’d pull up to people and we’d say ‘Do you know this child? He’d say hi,'” Taylor said.
Hours later, they found a man who lived next to Paulie’s old house, which was damaged in Superstorm Sandy.
“He said ‘Let me send you a picture.’ And he sent me a picture and I saw my son sitting in the front seat of the cop car. My heart about fell into my stomach. And I say, ‘Yup, that’s my boy,'” said Paulie’s dad, Paul Marshall Sr.
Paulie, his parents and sisters visited the police department Wednesday to thank officers and neighbors who frantically worked to get him back home.
“Paulie’s been talking nonstop about how much fun he had with the officers and the donuts and the Lunchables. I said, ‘It sounds like he had a little too much fun,'” his dad said.
While Paulie promises not to make a break for it again, his parents say they’re going to make sure he doesn’t by installing additional child-proof locks on their doors.
Paulie was not injured in any way.