HARLEM, Manhattan — Police have arrested a man suspected of kidnapping and abandoning his ex-girlfriend’s toddler in front of a Harlem building earlier this week.
Police said Antonio Staton, 22, picked up 1-year-old Divine Maddox, called DJ, from daycare on Thursday without telling his mother, then left him alone inside the front foyer of 272 W. 132 Street and placed a table across the opening to prevent the child from getting out.
The boy’s mother, Alexandria Clark, said Staton was not authorized to take her son from the daycare.
A woman, who did not want to be identified, spoke to PIX11 about finding the little boy. She said she opened her storm door and noticed the child, scared and alone.
“He had only been there about 30 or 40 minutes, because my husband had just left to go to work,” the woman said. “It put its arms up to me, and you know, was whimpering. And I picked it up and said, ‘it’s ok.'”
The woman said she called police right away.
“I gave the child to the uniformed officer,” the woman said. “And as I gave the child to the officer, the child started crying and calling me mommy — brought tears to my eyes.”
Staton has been charged with second-degree kidnapping, first-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree stalking and endangering the welfare of a child.
He appeared in court Sunday evening, and his bail was set at $75,000.