Megabus takes child, leaves dad behind in Tampa

Posted at 9:22 AM, Jan 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-22 09:22:31-05

TAMPA - Tampa police stepped in to help to reunite a father and his 7-year-old child after the Megabus they were riding departed for Miami without the father onboard.

It was a harrowing experience for the unidentified man and child, who were separated for a couple of hours Thursday before the bus returned to Tampa.

It all began about 7:17 p.m. Thursday, when Tampa  police officers responded to the Marion Street Bus Terminal at 1315 N. Marion St.. in reference to a report about a missing 7-year-old, Tampa police Lt. Ricardo Ubinas said in a news release.

The officers met the father of the 7-year-old at the bus terminal.

The man told officers he and his child were on a Megabus, a privately operated bus service, headed to Miami. When the father stepped off the bus to use the restroom in the Tampa bus terminal, the bus departed with the child onboard and unintentionally left the father behind.

The father attempted to chase down the departing bus, but the driver didn't see him. The bus was about an hour from Tampa when the bus driver was contacted and told to return to Tampa to pick up the child's father.

The father and child were later reunited in Tampa and resumed their trip to Miami. No criminal charges will be filed.