KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City mother says she didn’t know her 8-year-old son was in a safe place when he disappeared after school, and is critical of all those involved.
Nicole Harrell said her son, Quinten, decided to get off his school bus a few stops early to join his buddies at the Boys and Girls Club.
However, Quinten isn’t enrolled there and Nicole doesn’t understand why no one called her when her 8-year-old showed up there without parental permission.
While he was there with his friends, Nicole was in a panic that she couldn’t find him. She called police, but didn’t feel like they gave her the attention the case deserved. Dispatchers lost her first call. She called again an hour later and was disconnected. Police finally realized a child was missing after a relative’s call at 6:50, but there was no officer dispatched to the home for 30 minutes.
“I was very upset at the police because of one person calls, especially two people call about the same child, you would think that the police would have concern about that,” she said.
Nicole waited at Pathway Academy for her son to show up. Nearly three hours after he was supposed to get off the bus, Nicole got a call from The Boys and Girls Club saying her son had been there the whole time. When Quentin’s mom didn’t show up at the club at closing time of 7:00 p.m., the club finally called Nicole. Then, workers made her pay a $5 late fee.
A worker for the Boys and Girls Club says no one realized Quintin wasn’t supposed to be there because when they looked him up in the computer system he had a club number and acted like he was happy to be there even though he had never shown for their after-care program before.
David Smith with the Boys and Girls Club says the club’s computer system doesn’t distinguish between active and inactive members; Quentin had attended a summer program there two years ago.
“I’m just glad he got off at the club, right?” Smith said. “What if Quentin had gotten off the bus somewhere else?”
The Boys and Girls Club says it will reimburse Nicole for the late fee. Police have also called Nicole to personally apologize and say they’re still trying to figure out why it took so long to dispatch someone.