Along Clover Meadows Drive you find many families, many children. Babies (with supervision) to teenagers make the rounds Friday night, a number of them passing a home where a three-year-old was Wednesday when police say something happened to her, something criminal.
“It gave me a gut feeling, like I was sick to my stomach,” says Trudy Murray in front of her townhome. She was one of the people who saw police and paramedics pile on to her street then into a house across the street from hers.
“After awhile, they brought this, this body out,” Murray recalls, “She was kind of limpy-looking, and I thought, ‘Oh, my God.’”
“She had a face mask on, like she was trying to be resuscitated from whatever, you know, the situation was,” adds another neighbor.
The situation, as Chesapeake officers tell it, is this: Leon Surgeon was taking care of the three-year-old while her mom was at work. Paramedics wound up taking her to the hospital for what looked like severe head trauma. The extent of her injuries was so bad, she was transferred from Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters where she was in critical condition late Friday.
Surgeon, who has a (different) child with the three-year-old’s mother, now faces two charges, including felony child abuse.
“It does happen. I see it. I read it,” Murray notes. “It’s just sad, sad what happens to all these children. They’re being abused, and nobody cares.”
“I don’t know what a three-year-old child could do so bad to make someone actually try to hurt them like that,” a neighbor says. “Evidently, this gentleman has a problem with children or with hisself, or life in general.”
13News went to the home out of which neighbors watched emergency workers bring the three-year-old. Someone who answered the door said she knows Surgeon, but wouldn’t say what her connection to him is, and she denied knowing his relationship to the mother of the three-year-old. She went on to say she believed Surgeon was “somewhere else” when the girl was in trouble Wednesday. Pressed for more information, she closed the door and said, “I’m not talking to you.”
“Go after him. Get him,” Murray says. “If anybody does that to a small child, they belong not even on the street, not even any place near children.”