Disabled man found abandoned in freezing cold
A severely disabled man in a wheelchair was left out on the street in Rijswijk (Zuid-Holland) in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday. A passerby found him at a fire station and called the emergency services. The man was taken to hospital in a state of hypothermia.
A passerby found the man shortly after midnight, a police spokesman said. "You know how cold it is outside at night now. We don't know how long he had been there, but his temperature had dropped considerably."
The police have no idea who the disabled man is yet. He cannot speak and did not have any ID with him. Officers did find a note stating that the man's mother can no longer take care of him and that his family is homeless. That was the reason why he was left behind.
It concerns a man of around 20. The police have tried to find out his identity in recent days, but so far without success. That is why the police are now calling on people to report with tips. "Of course, we want to find out the identity of the man, but we also want to know who his family is, so that we can put them in contact with the social services," said the spokesman.
The police are also looking for witnesses who saw the man in the wheelchair at the Rijswijk fire station on Tuesday night, or who saw a vehicle in the area.
Councilor Larissa Bentvelzen from Rijswijk is shocked by the news. "It's a sad message. We hope that the police will be able to find out the identity of the man. We want to do everything we can to help him."
In principle, his caretaker could have brought the disabled man to an emergency shelter, says the councilor. "We have started an investigation, but we also know nothing more than this. If it turns out that something in the communication lines could be improved, we will do that because we have to ensure that this does not happen again."