A rental store employee is being credited with rescuing a 4-year-old boy who spent two days alone with his mother's body after she died suddenly in their Buffalo apartment.
Rent-A-Center worker Taijuan Littleton says he had a Dec. 4 appointment with customer Shaleena Hamilton, but she didn't answer the door when he arrived. Her son Bryan Allen eventually opened the door after telling Littleton he couldn't wake up his mother.
“Littleton said he heard the boy talking to his mother,” Homicide Detective Sgt. Jim Dunham said. “He asked the boy to open the door, but he didn’t. Littleton then looked through the window and saw the mother lying on the floor at the foot of the stairs. At that point, Littleton called 911. He also asked the boy again to open the door, and he did," reported the Buffalo News.
Littleton took Bryan to his work truck, where he wrapped the boy in a blanket and turned up the heat because he was cold.
Police say the boy survived on milk and maple syrup for two days. An autopsy determined his mother died of natural causes.
Thomas Porter, Bryan’s grandfather, thanked Littleton, saying if it wasn’t for his actions, there’s no way to know how long the young child would have been alone in the apartment.
Bryan is in the care of relatives.
Buffalo police helped organize a Christmas gift drive for Bryan and presented him with a new red bicycle and other gifts on Monday.
After Buffalo homicide detectives learned of the boy’s situation, they contacted Community Police Lt. Steven Nichols, who oversees part of a state grant program under which city police give away bicycles to children in the community.
A gleaming red bicycle with black training wheels, emblazoned with “Rocket,” was part of the haul of gifts heading home for Bryan’s Christmas.
As the boy’s story spread, others joined the cause and made donations. Police Department employees collected gifts. Members of the public brought gifts to district headquarters throughout the city.
“He’s going to love this,” said Thomas Porter, Bryan’s grandfather and Hamilton’s father. “He’s not going to know what to open up first.”