A daycare worker dropped the ball and ended up behind bars when a 5-year-old girl wandered the Queens streets alone Wednesday night.
The young girl was spotted at a store telling strangers, “I’m hungry,” cops and witnesses said.
Cops said that Trimeka Crum, 35, who runs an illegal daycare out of her Far Rockaway apartment on Mott Avenue, dropped off little Essiah Love Miller by car in front of her home on Central Avenue at around 6 p.m. and then drove off without making sure she got inside.
Crum was arrested Thursday and charged with acting in a manner injurious to a child.
Essiah never entered her family’s home near Wheatley Avenue when she was dropped off and walked about two blocks away before she ran into The Brothers Supermarket, telling workers inside that she was hungry.
“She just walked in and she told the cashier, ‘I’m hungry,’” said Carlos Cruz, a manager at the Central Avenue store, adding that workers gave the toddler snacks, chips and ice cream and called the cops.
“She stayed calm, she didn’t cry. I think we were more nervous than she was,” Cruz said. “My brother started asking her some basic questions like where do you live and she didn’t know.”
The brave little girl told workers that her mother is in Jamaica, the manager said.
Cruz said that he was glad that Essiah wound up in his supermarket during the potentially dangerous ordeal.
“I’m a father and I can’t imagine a little girl walking the streets alone. I’m glad we were able to help her,” Cruz said.
Essiah was taken to St. John’s Hospital for an evaluation.
Meanwhile, Essiah’s aunt arrived at the family’s home at around 11 p.m. and asked her daughter where the child was, according to sources.
The daughter was unaware that Essiah was supposed to be with her, sources said.
Then the aunt called Crum and both of them went to file a missing person report at the 101st Precinct where Crum was eventually placed under arrest, sources said.
Essiah, who cops said is in good health, and her aunt were finally reunited sometime Thursday.