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SEWAREN, N.J. (CBS) — A boy with autism called 911 for help when his teddy bear went missing, but then he hung up. But he ultimately got the help he needed, and made a new friend.
Like most children, 12-year-old Ryan Paul became frazzled when his beloved teddy bear went missing Wednesday evening.
Instead of asking his parents for help, Ryan, who has autism, called on necessary manpower, or so he thought. He called 911.
“So they called back to see if there was a problem and when I picked up the phone, they were like, ‘This is Woodbridge Police, did someone dial 911?'” Ryan’s dad, Robert Paul, said.
Paul soon realized what happened, explaining to the dispatcher that there was no emergency at their Sewaren home. But according to Woodbridge Township Police policy, an officer must investigate the residence after a hang-up.
Officer Khari Manzini arrived just a few minutes later. It turned out the rookie cop was well-equipped to handle the situation. Manzini had received specialized training from POAC Autism Services, which assists in autism recognition and response scenarios.
“Whenever we could use that training to make sure to not only keep ourselves safe, but those folks that were helping out safe, you know it makes a great difference,” Manzini said.
“You know, he couldn’t have been more accommodating and understanding. It was really great,” Paul said of Manzini.
In the end, Ryan’s teddy bear was found right on the side of his bed, and the Paul family is grateful for Manzini and the Woodbridge Police Department.