Hamilton toddler snuck out window onto roof and citizen rescues him

A toddler captured in a viral video standing on a Hamilton roof was saved, thanks to a witness who pulled the boy back inside through a window.

Hamilton police responded to the King Street East address around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, but are not conducting a criminal investigation into what happened, media officer Const. Lorraine Edwards said.

Instead, police are lauding the "quick-thinking" actions of people at the scene.

The video, viewed on Facebook more than 100,000 times as of Friday afternoon, shows the boy, wearing only a diaper, standing on a first-floor rooftop at the central Hamilton house, as a crowd of people gather below.

The startling image generated speculation online about what had happened, including false stories that the child may have fallen.

Cassandra Fleet was driving by Wednesday afternoon when she saw the boy on the roof, pulled over and told a friend to call 911.

"I was shaking; my heart was beating out of my chest," she said.

When she ran over, there was only one man standing below.

"I asked if it was his child. He said no," she said.

The house is split into two apartments and the front door was locked, Fleet said. So the two worked together, with Fleet telling the boy, "It's OK, buddy, just stay put. Stay by the wall."

The man broke into the downstairs apartment through a screen window and then went upstairs into the upper-level apartment, where he grabbed the boy through a window, she said.

The boy's mother was apparently napping with a newborn and others in the apartment had put the toddler down to sleep, Fleet said she was told.

Hamilton police confirmed the boy was napping in his bedroom when he squeezed through an open window that did not have a screen.

After the man who rescued the boy came downstairs, Fleet said she wanted to make sure the toddler was OK and so she went upstairs.

She knocked on the door and the shocked-looking mother answered with the toddler safely in her arms, Fleet said.

It was a chaotic scene, she said. "It was absolutely terrifying."

At the building on Friday, a woman who spoke through a closed door wouldn't comment.

The downstairs tenant said she was startled by a stranger breaking into her baby's room while everyone was napping, but later understood it was for a good cause.

Hamilton police are reminding families to secure windows and doorways.

"It only takes a moment for a young child to put themselves in a dangerous situation," Edwards said.

noreilly@thespec.com

905-526-3199 | @NicoleatTheSpec

noreilly@thespec.com

905-526-3199 | @NicoleatTheSpec

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