Police: Mom left child at Galleria store while she went to work at Nordstrom


by Rekha Muddaraj / KHOU 11 News


Posted on December 6, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 6 at 6:43 PM

HOUSTON -- A woman faces a felony charge of endangering a child after she was accused of leaving her daughter at a gelato shop, while she went to work at a nearby store.

According to court documents, the incident involving 32-year-old Tijuana Williams happened on December 3 in the Galleria mall.

Michael Danko, manager of Café Dolce Gelato, was working his regular shift when he saw Williams come in with her young daughter.

“Next thing I know, the mother disappears,” Danko said.

Danko said after about an hour, he asked the girl where her mother was and the 7 year old told him her mom went to work at Nordstrom and would be back to pick her up at 9:30 p.m.

“I said I will be closed by then,” Danko said.

He offered to walk the girl to Nordstrom to find her mother. He said the girl used her cell phone to call her mother, but that she never picked up.

Eventually, Danko called mall security who then called HPD. After officers arrived, Danko said Williams came to the gelato shop.

“The officers told the mother, the Galleria is not a daycare center,” Danko said. “You can't just bring your child into a store and leave her there.”

Eventually, Williams’ friend came by to pick up her daughter and Williams herself went back to work.

CPS said the child is staying with relatives as investigators look into the matter.

Danko said he's just glad nothing happened to the little girl.

“Especially during the holiday season, when it is busy, the child could have been abducted, or something bad could have happened to the child,“ Danko said.

KHOU reached out to Williams, but she refused to comment.