NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A mother and her 4-year-old son have been reunited after he somehow wandered out of a Harlem apartment on his own and ended up alone on the street.

Tory Grady held her son Chase tight as she recounted a terrifying day that started when she awoke to find her son missing Wednesday morning.

“I woke up and my child wasn’t there so I did what any parent would do — go straight to the police station,” Grady said.

Surveillance video shows Chase walking down the street alongside a man. The two walk into a Bodega as people tried to figure out where his parents were.

But Grady said when she went to police for help, they arrested her and charged her with endangering the welfare of a child.

“It was devastating,” she said.

Her arrest outraged the community. Neighbors brought a petition with more than a hundred signatures to the 30th police precinct demanding her release.

“She’s s working mother of two,” said family friend Lisa Clinkscales. “Her mother works for the city, for the MTA, I mean these are good families.”

Grady spent the day in custody, but just before her arraignment she said she was told the charges against her had been dropped.

“They interviewed me and they seen that I was very sincere and didn’t need to lie,” she said.

As relieved as Grady was to be reunited with her son, she still questions how he got out of the building in the first place. The exit is guarded by two heavy metal doors.

“Somebody was either coming in or going out and let my nephew go out by himself,” said the boy’s uncle Tony Grady.

“I’m just grateful for is that my child was found,” Grady said.

Grady lived in New York City for years, but had recently moved to Georgia hoping to give her family a better life. She was back in town visiting her mother when the incident happened.

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