ENGLEWOOD — An extended family of 10 reportedly fleeing South Side violence ended up huddled under a pile of old blankets on a main downtown street in Madison, Wis.
The 10 people — four adults and six children — were found on Sunday on Madison's State Street when a child was heard crying from under the pile, according to the Daily Cardinal.
The family told police they had escaped Englewood because "It was just too dangerous to stay," a Madison Police Department spokeswoman told the paper.
Madison police Sgt. Jason Sweeney wrote in a report on the incident that, at first, the responding officer "thought it was just a pile of blankets" and "did not suspect humans were beneath the bedding."
The officers moved on, but a man heading to work heard crying from the blankets. Officers returned and discovered the group that included several toddlers, a 5-month-old, a 9-year-old and a 13-year-old, according to the report posted on The Smoking Gun.
The family told the officers "some people they knew were killed" in Englewood. Police estimated they had been living on the streets for a couple of weeks.
Police sought help for the 10, and three churches responded with food and money for a hotel stay, the report said.
In commending the officers, Sweeney said that one of the Englewood men was so grateful for the help he "was choked up."
The family is reportedly trying to find work in the Wisconsin capital.
"Their future holds many questions, but they are away from the bullets," Sweeney wrote.
Englewood and West Englewood experienced some of the biggest declines of any city neighborhood between 2000 and 2010, losing nearly 20,000 residents, or about 20 percent, according to the U.S. Census.