Six-year-old boy drives mini ATV on Bronx River Parkway

"It could have been far worse than what it was," says one of the boy's rescuers.
By Matt Bradwell  |  Aug. 5, 2014 at 11:31 AM
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MOUNT VERNON, N.Y., Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Police credit drivers on the Bronx River Parkway with rescuing a 6-year-old autistic boy who had gotten lost on a motorized toy ATV and ended up driving in busy highway traffic.

Just prior to 8 p.m. Sunday night, the boy, his grandmother and a relative were visiting a park in Mount Vernon, just past the Bronx/Westchester county line. The boy was operating a motorized toy ATV and drove off and out of the park.

"They realized pretty quickly he was gone but couldn't lay eyes on him," Westchester County police spokesperson Kieran O'Leary told the Journal News.

Meanwhile 911 operators were already receiving calls reporting a small child driving on the highway. After existing the park, the boy, still on the toy ATV, had taken the on-ramp to the Bronx Street parkway.

After passing motorists refused to pull over or simply failed to notice the endanger boy, a trio of concerned drivers surrounded him, creating shelter with their cars until authorities arrived.

"I was surprised people were calling and not pulling over," described Joel Reyes, chief accountant for New York City's Comptroller's Office and one of the boy's rescuers.

"It was a scary situation. God forbid somebody would have run into him. It could have been far worse than what it was."

Police arrived and the boy was returned to his family. Child Protective Services is investigating the incident but said the family has no history of negligence.

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