Police arrived to help an autistic boy locate his little lost teddy bear after he called 911 for assistance.
Normally, we strongly recommend against anyone dialing 911 except for emergencies, and anyone doing so for any other reason should be penalized to the full extent of the law (which is usually a pretty stiff fine). That being said, we think the occasional exception should be made for worthy causes, such as helping a 12-year-old boy find his little lost teddy bear.
Earlier this week, Ryan Paul was playing in his bedroom when his teddy bear went missing. Freddy the teddy isn’t particularly large (only a few inches tall), so we can’t blame Ryan for losing track of him.
Emotionally distraught at the thought of losing his best friend, Ryan did the only logical thing and dialed 911.
Ryan’s parents, unaware that he’d called emergency dispatch to report a lost teddy bear, were surprised when an officer of the law appeared on their doorstep.
"I said 'Ryan, did you call 911?'” Robert Paul, Ryan’s father, told ABC News. “He said 'yes', and I said why? And he said, 'Teddy bear rescue.'"
Ryan is on the autism spectrum, a developmental disorder that affects an estimated 1 in every 59 children. Symptoms include difficulty communicating and social interaction, repetitive behavior, and motor and balance issues.
Luckily for Ryan, Officer Khari Manzini knew all about autism. He received special training as part of the Woodbridge Police Department and said it “comes in handy” with cases such as Ryan's. After arriving, Officer Manzini helped Ryan locate Freddy in his bedroom.
"We found the teddy bear, the teddy bear was OK," Officer Manzini said in an interview. "He was in safe hands, no injuries, nothing like that."
Ryan was mostly just happy and relieved to have Freddy back, although he was also grateful for the opportunity to take several selfies with a real-life police officer. And while the call might have been a bit frivolous, we’re glad that Officer Manzini was compassionate in assisting the public.