According to News 12 New Jersey: 12-year-old Ryan Paul of Woodbridge, New Jersey, called 911 in a panic last week when his beloved teddy bear, Freddy, went missing while he played in his bedroom.
He called emergency dispatchers, saying, “The teddy bear fell down again. Don’t worry, I’ll rescue you. Goodby again, see you again,” News 12 reported.
Luckily officer Khari Manzini of Woodbridge Police Department was soon on the scene and helped rescue the bear.
“We found the teddy bear, the teddy bear was okay,” Manzini, who has special training in autism response, told the station. “He was in safe hands, there were no injuries. Nothing like that.”
He added to News 12: “We came as fast as we could. Ryan was very happy to see me and I was actually happy to see him happy and that we had gotten the teddy bear back.”
Ryan’s father Robert wrote about the incident in a Facebook, sharing a photo of Ryan and Officer Manzini (see below)
“I’d like to thank the officer who responded for his kindness and understanding … as well as the 9-1-1 operator who called back to make sure everything was okay,” Robert wrote.
“I’m glad that we have such a fine and caring police department. I’m a little offended my son didn’t get me (a firefighter) to help with the rescue. LOL.”
Says People magazine:
Manzini said he drew on his training from POAC Autism Services when he learned Ryan has autism. The non-profit organization that supports the autism community while providing training for police and first responders to interact with individuals who have autism, according to its website.
Ryan’s father says he was proud of his son for knowing what to do in an emergency.
“We just need to fine-tune it a little bit as to when it actually gets used,” he said.