LOS ANGELES—A mother who abandoned her 6-year-old son at a bustling train station in downtown Los Angeles has been sentenced to 1 ½ year in county jail.
Dava Webster of Walnut Creek was sentenced after pleading no contest Thursday to child endangerment.
31 year old Dava Webster has been booked on a Felony Child Endangerment charge after allegedly leaving her 7 year old son at Union Station last night. He’s now with relatives. Story at 6pm @nbcla pic.twitter.com/pNnLueuR4U
— Angie Crouch (@AngieNBCLA) July 6, 2018
She’ll receive credit for jail time she’s already served.
She also must attend child abuse counseling.
Prosecutors said on July 4, 2018, Dava Denise Webster was with her son at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles when she left him alone at the train depot. The boy was later found by a security guard.
The mother was captured on surveillance video walking with the boy outside Union Station last July 4. She was then seen walking away alone.
Webster was arrested when she returned to the train station about 19 hours later.
An estimated 674,000 children were determined to be victims of maltreatment in 2017, according to the Department of Health & Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.
Of the victims, about 75 percent were neglected, 18 percent were physically abused, and 9 percent were sexually abused.
Nationwide, an estimated 1,720 children died from abuse and neglect, a decline from the 1,750 children who died from the same in the previous year.
Officials said there was an increase in the number of referrals to Child Protective Services for an investigation but that there was a decline in the number of maltreatment cases, a phenomenon they will be probing.
Flight Returns to Airport After Passenger Forgets Baby
The incredulous air-traffic controller had to double-check what the desperate passenger said she had left behind when the pilot radioed in requesting to return the airport.
“We told you, a passenger left her baby in the terminal and refuses to continue the flight,” came the reply, recorded in a video clip that quickly went viral on the internet, according to Gulf News.
According to Gulf News, the airplane had already taken off when the passenger alerted the crew on the weekend Saudia airlines flight SV832 from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The bizarre request caught air-traffic officials off guard, as they scrambled to figure out whether leaving a baby behind constituted an “emergency” according to airline protocols, which are naturally strict on the criteria for turning flights around.
Video goes viral on social media showing pilot requesting to head back to Jeddah
“May God be with us. Can we come back or what?” the pilot says in the recording, according to the translation on Gulf News.
The operator can be heard asking another colleague about the protocol.
“This flight is requesting to come back …a passenger forgot her baby in the waiting area, the poor thing.”
The operator then asks the pilot to confirm again the reason for wanting to return.
The pilot was overhead speaking: “We told you, a passenger left her baby in the terminal and refuses to continue the flight.”
“Ok, head back to the gate. This is totally a new one for us!”
Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication. Radar tracking sites show the usually punctual overnight Saturday flight was delayed by around 45 minutes, although there is no indication of a midair turnaround.
Epoch Times reporter Simon Veazey and The Associated Press contributed to this report.