Boy with cerebral palsy is missing

August 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Oakland Police shut down a two block area in North Oakland to search for a missing 5-year-old boy with cerebral palsy, wearing leg braces.

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In Oakland a disabled 5-year-old boy is missing. Little Hasanni Campbell was last seen in the Rockridge District.

On College Avenue, near Claremont in the Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland, police focused on the Shuz of Rockridge shoe store where it all began.

Police say the missing boy's father told them he pulled up to behind the building to let his son in the back door because the boy has cerebral palsy and can't walk well. The father reportedly walked around to the front of the store, went through it and when he opened the back door, the boy was missing from his car seat. Police say the boy's father called 911 around 4 p.m. and a search started immediately for Hasanni.

He is a 5-year-old African-American boy with a light complexion. He's three feet tall and weighs 40 pounds, but the most notable description is his leg braces on the outside of his gray sweat pants. Police say they have a Spiderman design on them.

Six search and rescue dogs were given the boy's scent from a swab that was wiped on his seat in the father's car. Helicopters, neighbors and police combed a two block area and College Avenue was shut down for more than five hours. Near the shoe store is a busy restaurant where customers were sitting outside.

"Immediately there were five or six cop cars right after that. It was pretty quick and a number of our regular customers went out to see if they could find the little boy," says restaurant manager Elizabeth Arthur.

"There was a lot of foot traffic here and there was a lot of vehicle traffic. There's a business right here that had a lot of people outside and it's one of the first places I went and asked people if they saw him and they said, no they didn't see him. It's kind of notable to see a young man walking around with braces on his legs and nobody saw him," says Oakland Police Sgt. Richard Vierra.

Hasanni's father's car is being processed as part of the crime scene because police believe they could be dealing with an abduction. The initial search went on for over a solid seven hours on Monday night and the investigation continues.

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