Straphangers spotted a troubled 8-year-old boy wandering on a stretch of J train tracks in Brooklyn after he was reported missing from his school.
The third-grader failed to show up for a class at Brooklyn Excelsior Charter School on Quincy St. near Ralph Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant. That was about noon on Tuesday.
About 20 minutes later, commuters waiting for the train at the elevated Halsey St.-Broadway station spotted the boy walking along the track bed and alerted transit police.
The panicked passengers persuaded the child to get off the tracks and onto the platform, just as emergency workers arrived. Paramedics took the boy to Woodhull Medical Center for evaluation before he was returned to his parents.
Investigators are trying to determine if the child’s trek on the tracks began as a suicide attempt.
The city Administration for Children’s Services has launched an investigation into the incident, sources said. The child has a history of running away from school, as well as some behavioral issues, classmates said.
“He’s been suspended a couple of times,” a 9-year-old boy who attends class with the child said Wednesday. “He’s gotten into fights sometimes, or he doesn’t listen in class and plays around. He misbehaves.”
The boy hadn’t been in school for the last two days, the student added.
No one had heard that he was found on the train tracks more than a half mile away from the school.
“From here to the J, that’s some distance,” said the classmate’s mom, Allison Charles. “Wow.”
Charles wondered how the boy even got out of the building.
Brooklyn Excelsior Charter School officials didn’t respond to requests for comment.
ACS, which has been accused of systemic failures following the deaths of 6-year-old Zymere Perkins in September and 3-year-old Jaden Jordan in December, said it is looking into what happened.
“We remain deeply concerned about this child’s safety following this incident and continue our investigation along with the NYPD,” an ACS spokesman said.
The charter school grabbed headlines in 2012 when a state audit found the publicly funded, privately run school was paying $800,000 in excess annual fees to the for-profit management company that holds its building’s lease.
After a subsequent investigation by the Daily News, the management company reduced its rental charges to the charter school by $257,168 each year.
Credit: NY Daily News