Police say that what some news media reported as an attempted child abduction at a Hannaford Supermarket in Portland was instead a case of a shopper taking the wrong cart, which happened to contain a two-month-old baby strapped into a car seat.
Portland police Lt. Robert Martin says the store surveillance video shows a man in the produce section leaving his own cart and accidentally taking one containing the baby. Within a minute the man discovered his mistake, but only after traveling to another part of the store.
The man told authorities that he panicked and left the cart with the child without telling any store employees. He then went back and got his own cart.
Martin says the decision to leave the child in another part of the store was clearly reckless, but not considered criminal.
“It was inconsiderate to leave the child and not make an attempt to return it to the parent, and we were concerned with that action and that’s why we consulted with the district attorney. The child was left in a safe location and it wasn’t in immediate danger,” he says.
The store was locked down after the father alerted employees. The infant was found within a few minutes.