Runaway Train Rider

A 13-year-old boy with learning difficulties spent 11 days in the New York subway because he thought his parents were mad at him.

A 13-year-old boy with learning difficulties spent 11 days in the New York subway because he thought his parents were mad at him. Francisco Hernandez Jr. had only his Metro Card, $10 and his school bag with him, having feared to go home after getting into trouble at school in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Despite a round-the-clock search by his parents and the police Francisco, who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, went entirely undetected during those fraught 11 days. "Francisco says his odyssey wound through three subway lines: the D, F and No. 1. He would ride a train until its last stop, then wait for the next one, wherever it was headed. He says he subsisted on the little he could afford at subway newsstands: potato chips, croissants, jelly rolls, neatly folding the wrappers and saving them in the backpack. He drank bottled water. He used the bathroom in the Stillwell Avenue station in Coney Island."

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