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Bus driver who found wandering toddler speaks out

MUNCIE, Ind.- A Muncie bus driver who saved a toddler out wandering the streets alone is telling her story.

Nikki Knight has only been a bus driver for six months. Last week, she spotted a little boy walking dangerously close to the street, and knew she had to pull her bus over and do something to help.

Knight has three kids of her own, so when she spotted the toddler wearing only a dirty diaper along her bus route last week, her mother’s intuition told her something wasn’t right.

“It was an awful feeling,” said Knight, “just that little kid…by himself, I just wanted to make sure he didn’t get hurt.”

So she parked her bus along South Pinewood Drive in Muncie’s Southern Pines neighborhood and got out to check on him.

“So about that time I figured somebody, a parent, would see me out there with him and come out and that never happened,” said Knight.

Police were called and about 40 minutes later, according to a police report, the boy’s mom, 19-year-old Brooke Hicks showed up in a taxi. She allegedly told officers she thought the boy’s great-grandmother had been watching him, but then changed her story and said a friend was supposed to be keeping him.

The police report states that records from the taxi company show Hicks called for a cab just after midnight, and then again in the morning for the one that brought her back to where officers were waiting with her child around 9:30 a.m.

“I just hope that, you know, she learns from this mistake,” said Knight.

Hicks was taken to jail, and her little boy into protective custody. We did try to speak with Hicks for her side of the story, but no one was home when we stopped. There is no word on whether that child is still in protective custody.