A 3-year-old went for a ride by himself on a city subway after breaking free of his mother's hand at a restaurant and finding his way into a nearby station, police said.
Christian Marquez apparently slipped under a Queens turnstile and hopped on a No. 7 train, traveling for four stops and about 10 minutes before transit workers noticed him and called police. He was soon reunited, unharmed, with his mother.
“I was still crying when I had him in my arms,” Marlena Torres, 40, told reporters later at the family's Queens home.
She said she had taken the boy on his first-ever trip to McDonald's, and he suddenly let go of her hand and disappeared while she was throwing away a juice container just before 2 p.m. She initially thought he was hiding but came to fear he had been kidnapped.
Her frantic search for the boy caught the eye of two police officers who were eating at the McDonald's, and they radioed fellow officers to look for him. Meanwhile, transit workers saw Christian in the train, called police and stopped the subway.
Security-camera video showed the child had wandered calmly out of the restaurant, said one of the officers, Vice Lt. Michael Costello.
Christian is “really active” and likes trains, his father, Jose Lina Marquez, 40, told reporters.