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Young kids escape daycare, roam the city

Posted at 10:43 PM, Nov 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-29 22:43:22-05

NEW YORK (WCBS/CNN) - Jay’lani Thompson is a smart little guy. Somehow, the almost 3-year-old and his friend walked right out of their daycare, Camp YDP in Paterson, NJ, Monday afternoon.

“He’s 3! Anything could have happened to him. It’s a drug-infested area. He could have got shot. He could have got hit by a car - anything,” said Jay’lani’s mom, Chanae Coleman.

Coleman was at work when a friend called her, frantic, saying someone posted on Facebook about her son roaming the streets. She immediately called Camp YDP.

“They said they were fully staffed, so it shouldn’t have happened.  And for him and another 3-year-old to walk down a flight of steps, walk past the secretary area where someone sits, and walk out the door and down some steps and cross the street, and even, eventually walk up even more, is absurd,” Coleman said.

April Evans, a medical assistant working across the street, spotted the little ones all alone.

“I was processing a patient when I saw two little kids running around cars,” Evans said. “I see no coat on, no parent around, so I ran out and got them.”

Evans and her co-workers asked if the children had come from a house, but Jay’lani said, “School.” They didn’t know which school.

“I gave them two lollipops and called the cops,” Evans said.

Jay’lani’s mother said she can’t thank Evans enough for rescuing the children.

“I cried to her,” Coleman said.

When reporters approached Camp YDP after the incident, the door was slammed shut. Reporters reached out to the state to see if the daycare had any prior violations and are waiting to hear back.

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