SOUTH OZONE PARK, Queens — A 3-year-old boy, dressed only in his pajamas and socks, was found wandering the street before sunrise in Queens Thursday morning, sources told PIX11 News.
The child was spotted about 5:20 a.m. crossing the road at 109th Avenue and 120th Street in South Ozone Park. He was wearing pajama pants and a T-shirt and was not wearing shoes, sources said.
A passerby called 911 and the child was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
There, he told officers his father’s name and they found him using social media, sources said. The toddler’s dad said he does not have custody of the child and that the boy lives with his mother.
Officers went to the boy’s mother’s home and took her into custody, sources said.
Police said the mother -- Paula Montanez -- was arrested and was facing a charge of failure to exercise control of a minor, but prosecutors declined to pursue those charges, instead giving Montanez an opportunity to attend a rehab facility due to past drug issues.
The boy was found to be in good condition and was released to other family members. The city’s Administration for Children’s Services is investigating. ACS Deputy Commissioner Eric Ferrero said the agency's top priority is protecting the safety and wellbeing of all children in New York City.
"As soon as this family came to our attention, we immediately launched an investigation with the NYPD and took steps to secure this child’s safety," he said.