Child with Autism walks away from school in New Britain

NEW BRITAIN -- A woman brought a little boy home safely after he walked away from school.

8-year-old Jack Norton, who has Autism, was found wandering on Vance Street by neighbor Taylor Simon around 2 p.m., Tuesday. Simon said he wasn't wearing a coat and looked lost so she decided to call police and drive him to home.

She said he was wearing a badge with his name on it so her husband also called Vance Elementary School to report that he was missing.

"How is he not being watched, monitored all day long? How does he make it out of a door?" Simon said. "Could you imagine if I had other intentions? That's really scary​."

Simon said the little boy directed her to his apartment and she watched him safely get into the building.

His mother, Nicole Norton, said he came home and told her a staff member drove him home because he was sick. She said she didn't question it until she noticed he didn't have his book bag and wasn't wearing his jacket.

New Britain police said they were also contacted by the school. School administration sent a staff member to the home to check on the child.

"They were asking Jack, they wanted to know how it happened and how it could be avoided," his mother said.

"I think I walked out the front door," Jack said.

New Britain police said they also went to the home to check on the child.​

"I was a pretty big wreck at first  because it could have been so much worse," Norton said. "I’m just thankful that that woman was awesome that brought him home. The outcome was great and in the end that's what mattered."

School Superintendence Nancy Sarra released a statement regarding the incident:

"We are aware of the incident that occurred at Vance Elementary School earlier today where a student left school property without permission. Very shortly after, a neighbor just a few houses away saw the student and brought the student home. The neighbor then reported it to the police department and at the same time, the neighbor’s spouse called the school to inform them of the situation.

As soon as administration was notified at Vance Elementary School, they immediately called the police department to ensure that the student was safe. A staff member was then sent to the student’s home as a secondary safety measure. The student was at home with the mother and was indeed safe. My office was in contact with the administration at Vance School throughout the incident and have been made aware of all updates throughout the afternoon.

We are in the process of reviewing our security cameras to determine the sequence of events that led up to the student leaving the building."