UPDATED 08.06.17 12:12 a.m.

YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A teenage boy with autism was found safe in Midtown Manhattan late Saturday night, several hours after vanishing on a bike trail in Yonkers.

As 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports, 15-year-old Mel Harris hopped on a Metro-North train to Harlem and made his way to the Mean Fiddler Bar & Grill near Times Square where a patron recognized him and called police.

There was no report of foul play or injuries late Saturday.

As CBS2’s Jessica Borg reported, police said Harris had last been seen on the South County Trailway bicycle trail around 3:30 p.m. It was not clear whether he was on a bicycle or walking on the trail, nor whether he was alone or with a family member when he went missing.

Police say 15-year-old Mel Harris was last seen early Saturday. (credit: Yonkers Police Department)

The bicycle trail spans about 14 miles, but police said they were focusing their search on Sawmill River Road off Tuckahoe Road.

Late Saturday before Mel was found, the trails were pitch black. But community members such as Ryan Murphy were still on the lookout — flashlight in hand.

Murphy said his cousin has autism and he wanted to help in the search.

“I’m just calling his name out,” Murphy said. “Hopefully, hearing a name back or someone say something else.”

Police said they used their K9 units to help find the boy, and a Westchester County helicopter was also brought in.

A family member reported Mel missing, and police said he has autism, but is verbal.

One man on the trailways said it was relatively busy for a weekend day, and officers were letting people know about the missing teen and urging them to be on the lookout for him.

“Well basically, they said there was a kid with autism – a small child – and he was missing, and you know, they told us in the park to be, you know, on the lookout for him,” said Tony Bartee of Yonkers. “So you know, everybody in the community has been looking out for him. Hopefully, they find him. But we’re keeping our eyes open. We’re vigilant. Hopefully, they find the kid.”

Harris was being taken to NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue to be examined, but he’s expected to be okay.


Leave a Reply