Mom blames shelter locks for child's escape

The mother of a 7-year-old boy with autism who prompted a search by the NYPD after escaping a shelter through a window says she blames the absence of a safety locking mechanism removed by the City's Housing Department of Preservation.

The mother of a 7-year-old boy with autism who prompted a search by the NYPD after escaping a shelter through a window says she blames the absence of a safety locking mechanism removed by the City's Housing Department of Preservation. (6/22/16)

THE BRONX - The mother of a 7-year-old boy who police found wandering shoeless Tuesday after he left home through a shelter window is blaming the city for removing a lock that would have kept him inside.

Teena Jusino, 34, says the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development removed a window guard lock at her unit in the Fox Street Houses. It deemed the lock a fire safety hazard.

Jusino says she is a mother of eight children, four of whom are diagnosed with autism.

She says her son, who has autism and trouble communicating, is known to wander from home. He climbed through the window Tuesday and left the shelter.

Eventually, police located the boy, who is now safely at home. But Jusino says she wants the lock restored. She says the lock's removal also leaves the apartment vulnerable to anyone who might open the window from the outside.

For now, she says she placed two bunk beds to block off the window.

News 12 has reached out to the city, but did not immediately receive a response.

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