Autistic student, 5, walks out of a Brooklyn school and gets on the subway
The New York Daily News - 8/16/2018
Aug. 15--A 5-year-old autistic child wandered out of a Brooklyn public school and got on the subway, where he was stopped by a good Samaritan, authorities said.
The boy walked out of summer classes Public School 24 in Sunset Park about 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday and boarded an R train two blocks away, police and a tipster told the Daily News.
"It was totally insane. At that point, it was clear to me that there was no grownup with him," said the concerned citizen who found him and alerted police after engaging the child.
"A kid cannot be able to leave the school like that, and if you have kids who are autistic, you have to have the additional resources to deal with it," the tipster added.
Police came, picked up the boy and returned him to school about 9:12 a.m.
Cops told the child's rescuer that PS 24 does not have door alarms -- technology that was deployed in some schools following the death of Avonte Oquendo, who was 14 when he walked out of Riverview School in Long Island City, Queens, in October 2013.
Oquendo's body was found in the East River several months later.
The city paid $2.7 million to settle a suit brought by his family in 2016.
A law signed by Mayor de Blasio in 2014 -- known as Avonte's Law -- promised to evaluate all schools for door alarms that could have prevented his disappearance.
Education Department spokeswoman Miranda Barbot said PS 24's principal met with the boy's family.
"Safety is our top priority and this troubling incident was swiftly addressed," Barbot said. "We are treating this with the utmost seriousness, and the principal met with the family to respond to their concerns."
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