A Glendale Heights, Ill., man ran inside a local mosque to deliver pizzas, just like he did every Friday — but when he came out, something had gone wrong.
Witnesses told Jon Ramzan a tow truck had hooked up his car and driven away, according to WLS. That would be a problem on its own — except his 11-year-old son Faraz, who has Down syndrome and is non-verbal, was in the car, the station reported.
Now the tow truck driver, 52-year-old Brian Clark of Bensenville, faces reckless conduct and child endangerment charges, WGN reported.
“When I opened the door and came outside, I saw my car wasn’t there,” Ramzan told NBC Chicago. “People told me he took my son and the car.”
Ramzan had been delivering pizzas to the mosque and had found no place to park, so he stopped his car for a few minutes at a nearby curb, he told WLS.
“My son was sitting back and I give him the phone. I go, ‘Stay here and I’ll be two minutes,’” he said, according to the station.
A witness told NBC Chicago he saw the driver pulling away with the child in the back seat, and tried to get the driver to stop.
“I banged the window,” the witness Iqbal Ahmad said, according to the station. “I yelled there was a kid in the car, (but he didn’t stop).”
Police said it was around 1:20 p.m. Friday when they were called to the area in response to a report of a car being towed away with a child inside, the Chicago Daily Herald reported.
Police learned that the driver had driven a short time, let the boy out of the vehicle and then left, leaving the boy alone in a parking lot, according to the paper.
“I was panicked,” Ramzan told CBS Chicago.
The boy’s sister called her dad’s phone, and a good Samaritan who found the boy wandering around answered and realized what had happened.
“He said ‘I have your kid and he’s been wandering the streets,” the boy’s sister Keiran told CBS Chicago.
The man drove the boy back to the mosque and dropped him off. “It’s a miracle that he found my brother,” Keiran told the station.
Officials found the tow truck in the parking lot of a nearby business and arrested Clark, the Chicago Daily Herald reported.
When WLS asked for comment from the towing company, the station reported that a person on the phone suggested the father was the one who should be charged with child endangerment if he had left his son in the car.
In videos, Faraz is all smiles now after being reunited with his family. But Ramzan told NBC Chicago it was a difficult experience for the boy.
“He cannot talk,” Ramzan told the station. “He was crying. He was in the car and he cannot say what happened.”