Metropolitan Transportation Authority logo

MTA New York City Transit Bus Operator Makes an Unexpected Pick Up

Being forced to break a routine isn't always a bad thing especially when it comes to saving a two-year old child from the elements.

During the early morning hours of Wednesday, October 20, Bus Operator William Allen's left turn out of the Fresh Pond Depot was blocked by a delivery truck. So rather than wait the interminable period of time delivery trucks are known to consume, Allen swung his bus into a right turn and proceeded down Putnam Street.

"As always, I was driving cautiously and watching the intersection, when I saw something at the corner of 60th Street that made me do a double take," said Allen, a 12-year NYC Transit veteran, as he recounted the morning. "It was a toddler standing on the street corner wearing nothing but his underwear. He was shivering and barefoot."

Allen pulled his bus to the curb and went over to investigate. As he walked over to the child, the little boy extended his arms and started crying. Allen retrieved the two-year old child, carried him over to the bus and called 911. "It was pretty chilly out at 4 in the morning. I just wanted to get him into the bus where he would be warm until the police arrived."

The Brooklyn resident is a father of two children himself, and he said that he did nothing special. Spotting a child in danger and stopping to help was just a natural response. His supervisor agreed.

"It was a real God Send that Bus Operator Allen was able to spot the child at that time in the morning before he walked between the cars into the street and could have possibly been struck, said Dawn A. Campbell, General Superintendent Transportation, Department of Buses/Fresh Pond Depot.

When Officers from the 104th Precinct arrived, they started knocking on doors until they found an open apartment. There were no adults inside but there was another child—a sleeping one-year old boy.

The boys' father was summoned by a neighbor and the NYPD handled it from there. "This story had a happy ending because of the caring nature and observation skills of Bus Operator Allen, Campbell noted.