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Springfield Gardens 3-year-old runs away to the movies

A precocious 3-year-old boy was found safe and sound last week after leaving his Springfield Gardens home, boarding a bus and getting off at the Jamaica Multiplex, located more than three miles away at 159-02 Jamaica Ave. An alert usher noticed the boy and called police, who had been looking for the youngster after his parents reported him missing earlier in the day."Basically he's a little genius," Clarence Ricky Davis, 46, said of his son, Clarence Ricky Davis Jr. The elder Davis was locked up for a night on suspicion of endangering the boy's welfare but released after he was found not to be at fault, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney said.Davis and his wife, both of whom are television and film producers, stayed up late April 26 doing some editing. The next day she went to work at a TV station, while he watched a video at home with their son, who is known as Ricky. The 3-year-old asked to go to the new movie "Robots" instead, but the elder Davis said he told the tyke to wait until his mom got home so they could all go together.The 3-year-old apparently could not wait, however, and when his father inadvertently fell asleep around 2 p.m., he dressed himself in jeans and a blazer, took $5 from his father's wallet, unlocked the front door of their Pineville Lane home and went to catch the Q5 bus to downtown Jamaica, probably boarding by following an adult waiting at the stop.His father, meanwhile, roused from his slumber."I woke up and he was gone," Davis Sr. said in a phone interview Monday. "I panicked." When his two older stepsons, over at a friend's house, reported that they had not seen Ricky, he called police.Officers located the 3-year-old after a movie usher noticed the boy wandering into "Robots" next to an adult who could not vouch for him and called police. Davis Sr. was arrested and held overnight as standard procedure, until security cameras at the theater confirmed his story."There was legally insufficient evidence" to charge him, the DA spokeswoman said, noting that someone must act in a knowing manner likely to be injurious to be charged with child endangerment.While Davis Sr. said his son had never left the house alone before, the boy was an old hand at dressing himself and using mass transit since he has insisted on swiping the family's MetroCards during outings and giving train conductors the tickets. He has also demonstrated his precociousness in other ways, turning on the computer and downloading new film footage, for example."He's a pretty bright kid," Davis Sr. said. In addition to telling the 3-year-old why he cannot go out alone, the family has installed a new lock that Ricky supposedly cannot crack.Davis Sr., meanwhile, said he held no hard feelings about being arrested and praised the police response."They were great," he said.Reach reporter Michael Morton by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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