Livery cab picks up wrong 4-year-old girl from Bronx school

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Marcus Solis reports from the Baychester section. (WABC)

A frightening mix-up happened at a school in the Bronx, and now parents are demanding answers.

One parent sent a cab driver to pick up a 4-year-old girl at school, but that driver left with the wrong student and didn't return for two hours.

"Where's my child? Why is she not in school? Where is she? Who has my baby?" said Almetha Holmes, Malia's mother.

They were the questions running through the minds of frantic parents in Bronx, unsure of their 4-year-old daughter's whereabouts.

Tuesday, Fitzroy Melon went to pick up his daughter Malia from PS 78 on Needham Avenue in Baychester.

The problem is the kindergartener had been signed out and picked up by a livery cab driver hired to take a girl named Malina home.

"This does not make sense, you just can't do that. And she said, 'I know, I just assumed,' and I said, 'That's unacceptable,'" Melon said.

"How can this happen? How can she release her to someone she doesn't even know? She don't know, I don't' know, she don't know either. You know, I don't understand that," Holmes said.

At first, administrators were unaware of the mix-up and began searching the building.

After an excruciating two hours, the cab driver returned with Malia.

Her parents were so relieved they didn't think to ask the driver what took so long.

In a statement, the Department of Education would only say, "The matter is being looked into, and the safety of our students is always top priority."

Wednesday at dismissal, the grim faced principal of the school spoke with parents informing them of the incident.

"I can't even fathom that, I think that that's horrible," said Erica White, a parent.

"I would lose my mind, lose my mind. That's why I make it every day to pick mine up, every day," said Khari Shaw, a parent.

In the meantime, Malia's parents kept their daughter home and met with school officials.

"It's a huge concern for me with the safety of that school, the negligence of the teacher and the security out front, what are they there for?" Holmes said.
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educationstudent safetystudentsBaychester
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