Yesterday, the NYPD asked for the public's help in identifying a three-year-old girl named Natalie who had been left by herself at a Harlem Subway restaurant on Saturday night. A good Samaritan had taken the girl to the 26th Precinct and her father was eventually located—and arrested—because he allegedly left her behind in his drunken stupor. Michaela Warnsley tells us she's the one who took Natalie to the police: "Virtually everything [Natalie] said turned out to be true, from her full name, to her borough and father's name, and how she'd described his outfit that night. For a three-year-old, she was incredibly brave and brilliant."

Stanley Frederique, 34, of Elmont, Long Island, reportedly "woke up from a drunken sleep" by Battery Park on Sunday morning. The Post reports, "Her father realized what he’d done only after he called the child’s mother, Marleana Neeper, from a cab at around 7:30 a.m., law-enforcement sources said. As he was telling her he was on his way home, she asked where their daughter was — and he realized he had no idea and started freaking out, the sources said."

Frederique was in Brooklyn at the time of the call, and the cab driver let him out near two traffic cops near Tillary Street, who took Frederique to the 84th Precinct. Then police took him to the 26th Precinct in Harlem, where he was charged with abandonment of a child, acting in a manner injurious to a child under 17 and reckless endangerment. Frederique yelled at reporters that he wasn't a bad father: "You guys don’t know what’s going on in my life. I got problems, OK? I’m sick."

An initial description from the police said that a "worker at the restaurant observed the abandoned child and escorted her to 26th precinct," but Warnsley, who is a child therapist, clarifies that people who work in social services are typically just called "worker," short for social worker. Warnsley recalls:

"Honestly, I noticed the girl especially after this young couple had been using the facilities and ordering sandwiches there and who had kept asking about this child who was wandering around the shop, but were getting no answers. After the attendant had again ignored them, making sandwiches that the couple had each ordered and had asked for my order, I directly asked if this child was either of theirs (with my 'authority voice') and they immediately told me about the man who had ordered her a sandwich, then walked outside, never to return."

A fruit vendor outside the Subway restaurant, Mohammed Rahman, said that he saw Frederique abandon the girl after buying her sandwich, "[She yelled] ‘Daddy! Daddy!’ and he came back and opened the door and yelled, ‘Sit down! I’ll be back!'... He appeared drunk. He was abnormally rude. The little girl said nothing, and he just yelled at her, yelling, ‘Go inside! Sit down! I’ll come back!’ She was a very nice little girl. She was very happy. She had her sandwich."

Then Warnsley asked the child where she had last had seen a parent, "She told me that she'd seen her dad walk out, talking to her mom (presumably on the phone), and so I asked her to show me." She walked with Natalie to look around the neighborhood to look for her father, "When we reached the next corner and she realized that neither the senior citizens on one corner (it's a senior facility across the street), or the guys in the two delis next door to the Subway were her father, she shrugged, and asked me where her dad had gone."

Officers eventually escorted Warnsley and Natalie to the 26th Precinct. "She was very precocious and vocal, expressing how bizarre it was that her dad had left her, but also seemingly unfazed by the circumstances as long as she could play 'I Spy' with myself and the cops," Warnsley said.

However, it was a long night and Natalie eventually had to be taken to the hospital—Warnsley believes she was exhibiting signs of trauma after the repeated questioning. Warnsley was also unhappy that the Subway employees didn't seem to care about the abandoned child: "[Maybe] it all could have been avoided or at least greatly minimized if two lackadaisical employees could've bothered to stop and question a guy who left his child in their care, and made an extra effort to contact their manager to show the police the surveillance before the following morning—they'd refused, Saturday night."

Above all, Warnsley is relieved that Natalie's father was found. She said, "When you work in social services for a certain amount of time, you get used to advocacy and stepping up to the plate when nobody else wants to get involved. It's usually messy and long-term. I would've probably never noticed Natalie if it had not been for the couple who pointed her out to me in that shop."

Natalie, who was in the custody of Administration of Children's Services after her ordeal, was seen in her mother's arms yesterday. One man who saw Frederique on the Street said he was on synthetic weed: "He was standing around here all night long, this strip is a hotbed... The guy that did that was heavy on K2 — I don't think he was, I know he was."