Boy with autism left alone on bus, driver arrested

EMBED </>More Videos

Josh Einiger has the exclusive from East New York, Brooklyn.

A young boy was left alone on a bus for hours. Now, the driver is under arrest.

Philomen Polycarpe, 58, is accused of endangering the welfare of a child who has autism.

That child is named Elijah Streety. Dwonna Johnson is the child's mother.

"I don't understand - how could you forget a child on the bus? If you take a look, you would have seen him," says Johnson.

The mini bus, owned by Y&M Transit was late picking up Elija at his home on Monday morning. Police say when the bus got to school, the 10-year-old never got off. The driver continued to his own home, parked the bus and locked it up.

Nearly three hours later, a passerby spotted Elijah, who has trouble communicating, trying to get out a window. That passerby called police.

A Department of Education spokesperson released a statement saying:

"The safety of students and staff is our top priority, and this deeply troubling incident is being investigated, We are working in close partnership with the NYPD, and will ensure appropriate follow-up action is swiftly taken."

Like many children with autism, Elijah used to love the bus. However as angry as his mother is, she says she is just happy he is safe.

"I feel like there's an angel watching over my son, because there's so much bad things going on with kids right now, and I'm just happy that he's okay. He's not hurt - no bumps, no scrapes - nothing," she said.
Related Topics:
autismbusbus driveru.s. & worldNew York
(Copyright ©2019 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)