Child wanders away from LI school

May 12, 2008 8:11:17 PM PDT
Two elderly woman found a crying child wandering on a Long Island highway service road late Monday morning.The 6-year-old boy apparently wandered out of his Medford school. He was found almost a half-mile away on the Sunrise Highway service road.

The boy's mother, Jacqueline Stevenson, told Newsday she was grateful that the women found her son. Police returned little Daniel to his home about 11 a.m., roughly two hours after he was dropped off at school.

"He could've been hit by a car," the 32-year-old nurse told Newsday. "He could've been abducted, and I wouldn't have found out until I went to school to pick him up. They didn't know he was missing."

Stevenson, of Patchogue, told the newspaper that she signed Daniel into Medford Elementary School on Medford Avenue. He was apparently late. After his mother left, Daniel was sent to his kindergarten class. When he found the classroom empty, Jacqueline said he walked out of a side entrance, intending to go home.

School principal Fran Lizewski later apologized to Stevenson and said Daniel's class had been at an assembly, she told the paper.

Stevenson is urging school officials to put some sort of safeguard in place to prevent children from leaving the grounds.

"As a parent, you feel when you drop your kid off at school, that they're going to be OK," she told Newsday. "I just want every child to be protected."