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Child leaves Mesa special-needs school, goes to gas station undetected

(Google Maps photo)

PHOENIX — A young child was found at a Mesa gas station after he reportedly walked away from a special-needs school unattended and unnoticed by school officials.

According to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, officers were dispatched to a Mesa gas station around 6 p.m. on Tuesday after one of the gas station attendants witnessed a young boy walking around the station unattended.

Officers said the boy, who looked to be around 6-years-old, was not responding to the gas station attendant. The boy appeared to be happy and in good health, even walking away from officers to try and grab more food and candy from shelves.

The boy was then placed in a patrol car, where he could safely sit in the air conditioning.

One of the deputies contacted Lexington Life Academy, a special-needs school that was right next door to the gas station.

School officials said they were not missing any children, but after a headcount the supervisor in charge came to the gas station and identified the wandering child as one of their students.

According to the supervisor, a gate to the back playground was left open, allowing the boy to leave the school undetected.

The boy was taken back to the school safely and the gate was secured, police said.

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