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Long IslandCrime

Cops: Toddlers wander away from Hicksville day care; owner arrested

Graciela Castro, 24, ownder of a Hicksville day

Graciela Castro, 24, ownder of a Hicksville day care center, was arrested on charges of endangering the welfare of a child when a motorist noticed two toddlers on and alongside Jerusalem Avenue, on Monday.   Credit: NCPD

Two toddlers wandered from a Hicksville day care center Monday and were discovered on and near the roadway by a driver, prompting Nassau police officers to arrest the owner on child endangerment charges, authorities said.

A girl, 3, was standing by herself just before 11 a.m. in the right lane of Jerusalem Avenue, near Eighth Street, when a southbound driver, 44, spotted the child, police said.

After the driver stopped and escorted the girl off the road, he saw a boy, 2, standing alone on the curbside grass, police said.

The motorist called police, and officers concluded the children had left Chella's Childcare, nearby on Jerusalem Avenue, through an unlocked rear gate. No injuries were reported, police said.

The owner of the day care center, Graciela Castro, 24, of 290 Jerusalem Avenue, was in charge at the time, police said, and was taken into custody and charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, police said.

Castro was released on an appearance ticket and ordered to return to court Dec. 17. She could not be reached for comment Monday night.


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