A baby boy has been reunited with his mother after experiencing a solo New York City subway ride Tuesday evening. The boy, one, was travelling with a caretaker when the caretaker reportedly had a "medical episode" and left the train - and the baby - at the 96th street stop.
The baby ended up riding 60 blocks by himself in his stroller before he was found unharmed at Penn Station. Shortly afterwards, he was reunited with his mother. Despite the male caretaker being questioned by police, he was later released without any charges. Authorities were unable to disclose specifics of the condition the caretaker suffered due to privacy laws.
When some commuters were questioned about the incident, they admitted that they couldn't possibly imagine what was going through the mind of the boy's mother during the short period of time that he was missing.
"She was probably freaking out," said Brittany Gilzene. "I would freak out in that predicament: 'Where's my kid, what happened?' Anyone comes on the train and you don't know what their intentions are."
Another rider was just thankful the boy was unharmed.
"Thank God they were able to locate the child and nothing happened to him," they said.
Initially, there were conflicting reports that the caretaker was the child's father and that he was intoxicated, but those were eventually dismissed when it was revealed that the caretaker was actually a friend of the family who suffered from a medical condition.
This isn't the first story as of late involving young children being put in perilous positions when it comes to public - and private - transportation. In January, a toddler was found wandering near a dangerous overpass by a Milwaukee bus driver who eventually stopped the bus and scooped the child up to safety. She was later recognized on behalf of the city for her selfless good deed.
Not long after this story made headlines, another child was filmed by dash cam falling out of her car when her car seat was not properly secured. Fortunately, both children were unharmed and reunited with their parents, thanks to the kindness of strangers who stepped in to help.
According to experts, if parents find themselves unexpectedly separated from their children, there are some things they can do beforehand, including writing their cell phone number on articles of clothing, teaching kids what to do in case they get lost, talking to them about strangers and safety and staying aware of your surroundings so you can spot if someone else's child is lost.