Bus driver, aide charged after 4-year-old girl is left on bus

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A Brooklyn bus driver and aide were taken into custody in connection to a 4-year-old girl found wandering in Gravesend Monday.

Department of Environmental Protection workers Tori Boria and Matthew Alongi pulled over their truck on Shore Parkway Monday morning to fill up on water from a fire hydrant when they spotted a 4-year-old girl alone. They quickly got her safely to the sidewalk and called 911.

The girl was able to tell them her name was Nicole but not much else.

After reviewing surveillance video, police retraced the child's movements -- discovering she was left on her day care bus that was supposed to drop her off at Bam Bam's Playhouse Daycare Center on Banner Avenue.

Police say the driver, 76-year-old Antoliy Elkin, and bus matron, 63-year-old Galina Zabarnaya, parked the bus and failed to make sure it was empty before exiting. They're now both charged with failure to exercise control of a minor.

The two city workers say they are grateful they were there and able to help Nicole.

News 12 reached out to the day care center and were told the Health Department and Administration for Children's Services are on site. They did not issue a statement about the incident.

The Administration for Children's Services told News 12 they are legally required to investigate every complaint of abuse or neglect that is forwarded from the state Central Register. The Administration for Children's Services says its top priority is protecting the safety and well-being of all children in the city and that it is investigating the incident.

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