Wrong child picked up in Philly daycare mixup

MANTUA - October 27, 2011

While fears of an abduction filled the West Philadelphia Community Center, police say this appears to have been an unfortunate accident.

The question is, though, how could something like this happen?

"The gentleman who came and picked the child up doesn't really know the 2-year-old, he's a family friend," Philadelphia Police Lt. Johnny Walker said.

Police say it began when two mothers could not pick up their children from daycare, a 4-year-old and the 2-year-old, and both had a male acquaintance pick the kids up for them.

Here is where it gets weird: Both children had similar names and both men had the same last name.

"Both males had the same last name so unfortunately you can see with the workers having a hectic day, two gentlemen came in, they present ID with the last name. They recalled the phone call so they didn't pay attention to which child it was," Walker said.

The mix-up caused a bit of a confrontation between the parents of the 2-year-old and the man who picked up their kid.

Police had to move in between the man and the 2-year-old's family before they realized what had actually happened.

A spokesman for the daycare says they are investigating what went wrong here.

"There was no evil intent in all this, but obviously somewhere our procedures broke down and we're going through everything with a fine tooth comb to see exactly how this might have happened so that we can make the appropriate corrections," spokeswoman Arlene Bell said.

Police say no charges will be filed. They are just glad the ending turned out the way it did instead of the abduction they had originally feared.

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