Bystanders rescue 2-year-old from street, grandfather charged

A Springfield man faces child endangering charges after a 2-year-old boy in his care was allegedly found by drivers in the middle of the intersection of North Bechtle Avenue and Broadway Street last week.

Starley Lynch, 60, of 1324 Broadway St., pleaded not guilty in Clark County Municipal Court last week.

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Police were sent to the busy intersection at about 6 p.m. Oct. 9 on a call of a small child being found there. A woman had been yelling to locate the boy’s parent, according to a police report.

Kimberly Heckman, a Clark County resident, was waiting for a tow truck driver and saw the boy in the middle of the road.

“Just luckily, I looked in the rear-view mirror looking for that tow truck and there he was,” Heckman said. “I jumped out of the car … it was four lanes of traffic so I was a little ways down the other side street and I just took off running.”

Then she said a semi truck driver used his truck to block oncoming traffic.

“He blocked Broadway off, where the little guy was coming out. He just backed up and just pulled right, just cuddled him like a cradle,” Heckman said. “That semi truck driver, thank God for him because he closed that road and who knows what would have happened if he hadn’t.”

The woman then took the child to the sidewalk and began looking for his parents, the report said.

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Officers began knocking on doors to find his parents but were unable to find anyone for about 30 minutes.

Lynch then approached the police about picking up the child, his grandson, according to a police report. He allegedly told police the boy’s father dropped him off about 3 p.m. They watched movies together and Lynch allegedly fell asleep about 5 p.m., according to the police report.

About 6:15 p.m., Lynch woke up and noticed the child was missing, police said, so he began looking around the house. The boy’s father arrived home and noticed police were down the road, according to the report.

Lynch was arrested for child endangering due to a lack of care and immediate danger the child was in by being in the intersection, the police report says. In court, he requested to speak to a prosecutor about his charge.

“I don’t understand what’s going on,” Lynch told the judge. “I’ve never been in trouble before.”

His next court date is a pretrial hearing on Nov. 8, according to court records.

Seeing the boy in the road brought to mind Heckman’s four grandchildren, she said.

“I have a grandson the exact same age as that little boy and that’s all I kept thinking in my head was ‘Whoa, I couldn’t imagine,’” she said. “That was somebody’s baby, somebody’s grandchild.”


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