Graciela Castro.

Nassau County Police

Daycare scare: LI owner arrested after toddlers escape

November 20, 2018 - 1:09 pm

HICKSVILLE, N.Y. (1010 WINS) -- The owner of a Long Island daycare was arrested after two toddlers wandered away and were found by a busy roadside.

The 3-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy were found standing near Jerusalem Avenue and Eighth Street on Monday morning, according to police.

A motorist had spotted the girl in the right lane of Jerusalem Avenue and the boy on the curbside grass, Newsday reported.

Police were called to the area and they determined that the kids had run away from nearby Chella’s Childcare, according to Newsday.

The children had apparently escaped through an unlocked gate.

Neither of the kids were injured, police said.

Graciela Castro, 24, was taken into custody and charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. She was released ahead of a December court date.

Mark Rubanow lives right next door and says he knows Castro and her family.

"She's always been very responsible and very caring for the kids. She's got a good group of people who work for her and everything, so it's quite surprising," Rubanow told 1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria. "I'm stunned over this."

It wasn’t immediately clear if Castro had an attorney who could comment on the charges.