NEW LONDON -- See something, say something. That’s exactly what Hannah Schukei did early Monday morning.
“Your actions saved the life of this child and prevented a tragedy from possibly taking place,” said New London Police Chief Peter Reichard.
Schukei had just completed a 14-hour shift at Yale-New Haven Lawrence and Memorial Hospital when she drove past a child driving home from work. She said at first she thought her eyes were deceiving her as she passed the child but she turned around anyways. Why?
“I really don't know. I had to make sure that what I saw is what I saw,” said Schukei. “It really just hit me that I had to turn around and double-check.”
The two-year-old boy was wearing black pants and no shirt walking along the sidewalk near the Cumberland Farms on Montauk Avenue.
“He ran right up to my side of the car, opened up my side of the door, threw his arms up and I picked him up and called nine-one-one,” said Schukei.
Schukei took the boy back to the hospital and waited with the staff until the parents arrived. The boy was calm and unharmed.
“He wouldn't let go,” said Schukei. “He wouldn't leave me.”
New London police presented Schukei with a Chief Citation and Chief of Police Challenge Coin for going above and beyond the line of duty.
A joint search effort by New London police and the fire department helped find the parents’ home within an hour of picking up the child.
“They noticed the front door of a house that looked open at that time of morning so they stopped and got out and knocked on the door and woke the parents,” said Chief Reichard. “The parents were shocked to find out that it was actually their child that was missing.”
The parents were very thankful and apologetic saying Schukei restored their faith in humanity. The parents say the child has gotten out before. They even had the front door barricaded so he couldn’t get out but he still managed to.
Police are currently investigating the incident. No charges have been filed.