As Rucker approached the girl, he said she reached out her hand.
“I think she recognized she needed help,” he explained.
Haleigh was in her car seat by a fence that had vines and grasses growing around it. There were bugs and mosquitoes that appeared to be biting her, so he moved her and the car seat away from the bugs.
“She wasn’t crying,” he added. “She was rubbing her eyes and face.”
The car seat was on the other side of the street from a driveway and houses, so initially Rucker thought someone might have left her there while backing a car out.
He also considered knocking on doors to see if anyone knew the child, but then decided to call 911. The dispatcher he spoke to asked him about Haleigh’s appearance and clothing before saying that police were looking for her.
While waiting for police to arrive, Rucker said he held her hand and told her that he wasn’t going to leave.
“I got kind of emotional,” he said. “Who would leave a baby like that?”
Rucker said he’s a father and grandfather and even was playing with a grandchild only a few months younger than Haleigh before his shift that day.
Police arrived on the scene on Adair Avenue and helped reunite Haleigh with her parents. Mother Razshae Wood said her daughter was inside a car stolen from a gas station while her husband had gone inside.
We are checking with police to see if their stolen purple 2012 Kia Optima has been located or if a suspect has been identified.
While many people have called a Rucker a hero for spotting the girl and refusing to leave until police arrive, he’s just happy the story has a happy ending.
“I just think it was I blessing I was there and I was able to get to the little girl before something happened,” he said.