Police officer rescues teddy bear after 12-year-old with autism calls 911
WOODBRIDGE, NJ - A boy with autism who called 911 to report that his beloved teddy bear was missing got in touch with the perfect officer for the case.
Woodbridge Police officer Khari Manzini responded to the New Jersey home of 12-year-old Ryan Paul last week after Ryan placed a phone call to emergency dispatchers, telling them that Freddy, his handheld-sized friend, hadn't been seen in some time, WABC reported.
Ryan lost the brown bear while playing in his room, but opted seek the help of first responders rather than his parents.
Ryan's father, Robert Paul, told WABC he was shocked at first to learn that his son had made the call.
"I said, 'Ryan, did you call 911?'" Paul said.
Ryan told his dad he needed help with a "Teddy bear rescue."
Manzini, who has received special training in autism recognition and response, found Freddy once he arrived to the Pauls' home.
"We found the teddy bear; the teddy bear was OK," Manzini said. "He was in safe hands, no injuries, nothing like that."
Ryan hugged the officer after he rescued the stuffed animal. Manzini told News 12 that getting to know the residents and making them feel comfortable is a "major part" of his job.
The boy's father took to Facebook to thank Manzini for his "kindness and understanding" as well as the emergency dispatcher who called the right officer to their home.
"I'm glad that we have such a fine and caring police department," Paul wrote.
Paul told News 12 that he's proud of his son for knowing what to do in an emergency, adding that they need to work on fine-tuning the skill to use in an actual emergency.