Here I was, all ready to shut down Ethics Alarms posting for the day, and I ran across this awful story, which I honestly don’t understand at all. There have to be some basic equipment ethics alarms that have to work in everyone, right?
Charleston, South Carolina police were called to investigate the home of 24-year-old Donald Gekonge when an apartment manager reported that he had found a child alone in the apartment yesterday. They discovered the child sleeping in a bed in the living room. When they walked into the room, the child “immediately reached for an empty water bottle.” The child seemed to be in good condition. Police then spoke to an unnamed person who said Gekonge had sent a message that he was in New York City. Eventually police reached him, and he said that someone was caring for his son, he just wasn’t certain who.
This is always a bad sign.
He then said he believed the child’s mother, 24-year-old Darlene Aldrich, might be taking care of him. Well, no, he later admitted she was in New York too. But…but…it was an emergency!
I’m trying to think of any emergency that could justify leaving a 2-year-old alone while they traveled from South Carolina to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, or whatever it was they were doing. So far, I got nothing. Suggestions welcome.
EMS and social workers came to the apartment and changed the poor kid’s diaper and provided him with clean clothing. He was taken to MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital for additional care. Mother and father were arrested and charged with one count of unlawful conduct, with Aldrich being held on $75,000 bond, and Gekonge on $50,000 bond.
If either of them ever get custody of their child again, our child welfare system is even worse than I thought it was.
I would charge both parents with attempted murder.