NEW YORK (CBS 2) — When most parents send their children to school, they assume they will be safe. But a Bronx father is telling a terrifying tale after his son went missing from school.
Jerry Camacho calls it an unthinkable betrayal of trust that last week his 5-year-old son, Jeremy, who has a form of autism, somehow managed to walk out of his school at P.S. 73 in the Bronx without anyone noticing.
“I felt angry and frustrated,” Jerry Camacho told CBS 2′s Scott Rapoport. “This shouldn’t happen to anybody’s children.”
He says when Jeremy didn’t come home on the bus at 3:30 p.m. that day, he started to get nervous. He called the bus company, which told him there was an issue with his son and to call the school.
“I was just in total disbelief — like who was watching him?” Camacho asked.
Turns out, Camacho said, his son had been missing for half an hour and was discovered by himself at 166th Street and Grand Concourse by a good Samaritan.
Camacho said his son walked half a mile away from the school, trekking down steps through the neighborhoods and crossing streets unsupervised.
“My son’s safety was compromised,” Camacho said. “Anything could have happened to my son. My son could have gotten hit by a car, God forbid. He could have gotten picked up by a pedophile.”
Jerry says when he finally spoke to the school’s principal, he learned his son was being taken to a nearby police precinct and was okay. He said until then, the school didn’t tell him Jeremy was even missing and never called 911.
CBS 2 tried to get a comment from the school but was referred to the Department of Education, who issued a statement.
“Regarding the incident, the principal concluded that a staff member did not properly supervise the student, and disciplinary action was taken,” DOE spokesperson Marge Feinberg said.
Meantime, a furious father is demanding answers and asking that his child be transferred to another school.
The Department of Education said it has given the Comacho family a choice of 3 different schools where they can transfer their son. For now the Camachos are keeping their son out of school while they consider their options.
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