Grandpa picks up wrong kid from Sterling school

STERLING, Conn. (WTNH)– Five-years-old and frightened. A Grandpa thinks he’s bringing home his grandson from school, only to learn he’s got the wrong kid.

You’re probably wondering how does a Grandpa not recognize his own grandson but the even bigger question is how could the school let a child be taken away by a stranger?

“The particular gentleman had pre-approved permission to pick up his grandson. The problem is he took my nephew instead of his grandson, that’s when things got messed up,” said Paul Stone, the boy’s uncle.

Alone with a strange man, who it turns out didn’t have permission at all to take the boy anywhere, leaving his family with serious questions

“Wondering how this could happen,” said Stone.

Paul Stone is the boy’s uncle. He says they were told by school officials that when the man realized the child he had taken home wasn’t his grandson, he immediately called the school then brought the boy back. But what happened during the time they were alone?

“He hasn’t really said a lot about it. Very very scared the day of. Once he got home and he is only 5-years-old so it’s very hard to extract information,” said Stone.

While the child appears to have been returned safely, there are four registered sex offenders living right in Sterling that could have had the same easy access to the students in this school.

It’s concerns like this that prompted the family to call police.

“Most of all what we want to do is make sure that my nephew is safe and he hasn’t been harmed, which we have no reason to believe that he has,” said Stone.

School officials say they had policies in place to prevent something like this, but they went terribly wrong. Now they are making changes.

Sterling Community School

“Instead of having a common area, our kindergarten and preschoolers are going to be in one with a staff member checking IDs, checking who is picking up the child,” said Rena Klebart, Superintendent of Sterling Public Schools.

Sterling’s school superintendent confirms the man was on an approved list to pick up his grandson. But the other family involved is relying on a background check and a full investigation from police for answers.

The family says finding out more about this man who went off with the son is a major priority for his parents. Meanwhile, the school is holding a meeting Tuesday to speak with parents who have concerns about all this.

News 8 will of course stay on top this story and get this family some answers.

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