Melbourne boy ran away after trouble on canteen duty

Andrew Ong (Victoria Police)
Andrew Ong (Victoria Police)

An 11-year-old Melbourne school boy felt he had no choice but to run away from home, after getting into trouble at school.

Andrew Ong wrote his parents a five-page letter explaining that he had disappointed them and left it on the kitchen table, before running away with nothing but his backpack and bus card.

His mother Cindy Ong told reporters at a press conference the boy was "very upset with himself", after getting into trouble over canteen duty.

Andrew was one of a few kids on duty who were giving snacks to their friends. When caught, the principal made them write a letter of apology.

"So I think he feels really bad about what he's done. He probably feels that we’re disappointed in him," the worried mother said.

Andrew Ong found by police
Andrew was found by police at the local McDonald's (Rebecca Ainslie)

Andrew left home about 8:30am Monday (local time), and was found by Protective Services Officers outside McDonald's at Melbourne Central train station less than 12 hours later, at 7:30pm.

Tasmanian woman Rebecca Ainslie told The Age she was one of the members of the public who recognised the boy.

"He was just sitting there. He's missing in the whole of Melbourne, and he's right there. That's him!" she said.

"Part of us was like, 'Oh my God, we are among the news'."

The nightmare day for Andrew's parents ended with him tucked up in bed.