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Cops and subway tot enjoy happy reunion


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It was a much happier meal.


A Queens toddler who slipped out of a McDonald's Tuesday while his mother wasn't looking and took a solo ride on the No. 7 train was reunited Wednesday with two of the cops who helped find him.


Christian Marquez, 3, smiled as his mom, Marlena Torres, introduced him to detectives Adam Frasse and Damon Gergar at the Flushing McDonald's where the little boy's subterranean adventure began.


"These are your guardian angels," Torres told the adventurous tot.


Christian's mom and dad, Jose Marquez, thanked the officers profusely for going all out to find their son.


"Thank God for you guys," the father told the cops. "Thank God for everything."


Sharing an order of fries with Christian, Frasse, 43, teased the child, saying, "No more trains!"


"You've got a good boy there," Frasse told Torres. "He looks happy."


Christian and his mom were having lunch at at the McDonald's on Tuesday afternoon when the tyke darted out the door when Torres went to throw away some trash.


Torres feared her son had been kidnapped as she searched under tables and chairs.


The panicked mother caught the attention of Frasse, Gergar and Lt. Michael Costello were having lunch at the restaurant. The officers calmed Torres down and put out an all points bulletin for Christian.


Video taken by the restaurant's surveillance cameras showed Christian walking out the door alone.


Cops believe he walked down Roosevelt Ave. to the Main St. subway station, scooted under the turnstile and onto a westbound No. 7 train.


The child went seven stops to the 74th St.-Broadway Station, where a passenger alerted NYC Transit Maintenance supervisor Robert Pustarfi that the boy seemed to be on the train alone.


"I asked him, 'Where's your mom,'" said Pustarfi. "He started to well up. I realized he was lost."


Pustarfi took Christian to a token booth and called the cops, who were already looking for the boy.


"Like any mom would be, she was hysterical," said Pustarfi, describing the reunion of Torres and her son.


"I'm so happy to have him back," Torres said Wednesday, refusing to let go of Christian for a second.


By Erica Pearson, Pete Donohue and Bill Hutchinson


February 19th 2009



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