A New Jersey police officer responded to a "teddy bear rescue" call from a Ryan Paul, a 12-year-old boy with autism
A 12-year-old’s teddy bear is safe and sound after the New Jersey boy called police to “rescue” the stuffed animal.
Ryan Paul, of Woodbridge, New Jersey, called 911 in a panic last week after his beloved teddy bear, Freddy, went missing while he played in his bedroom, according to News 12 New Jersey.
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.
The call came to his parents’ surprise.
“I said, ‘Ryan, did you call 911?’ ” Ryan’s father, Robert Paul, recalled to WABC. “He said, ‘Yes,’ and I said, ‘Why?’ And he said, ‘Teddy bear rescue.’ “
Soon, officer Khari Manzini, with the Woodbridge Police Department, was on the scene.
“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.”
Robert wrote about the incident in a Facebook post, sharing a photo of Ryan and Manzini.
“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.”
Ryan and Manzini’s story has made its way around the Internet, and the pair have appeared in several news segments, sharing hugs and smiles.
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.
As for Robert, he told News 12 that he is proud of Ryan 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.