For Ryan Paul, the loss of a beloved friend is an emergency — something worth calling 911 about.
As News 12 reports, the 12-year-old from Woodbridge, New Jersey was playing in his room when his teddy bear, Freddy, went missing. Ryan, who is autistic, did exactly what you’re supposed to do when someone is in trouble. He called 911 for help.
“The teddy bear fell down again. Don’t worry, I’ll rescue you. Goodbye again, see you again,” he told the 911 dispatcher, who didn’t get the chance to ask any questions before Ryan hung up the phone.
Ryan’s father, Robert, told WABC that he only found out about the 911 call afterward:
“I said, ‘Ryan, did you call 911?’ And he said, ‘Yes,’ and I said, ‘Why?’ And he said, ‘teddy bear rescue.'”
Officer Khari Manzini arrived a few minutes later to check on Ryan and make sure everything was alright. Manzini has been trained in recognizing and responding to individuals with autism and was glad to be able to put that training to use.
The officer confirmed that Freddy the Teddy Bear was safe and unharmed. Manzini told 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.”
He also took a picture with Ryan, explaining that this was part of his training in responding to those with special needs:
“Just getting to know our residents is a major part of it, of making them feel comfortable.”
Robert later posted about the incident to the Woodbridge Police Department’s Facebook page, thanking Manzini for his, “kindness and understanding,” in dealing with the late night teddy bear emergency.
What happenes when your 12 yo autistic son dials 9-1-1 because his teddy bear needs "rescue". That's right you get a…
“I’m glad that we have such a fine and caring police department,” the dad wrote, then jokingly added, “I’m a little offended my son didn’t get me (a firefighter) to help with the rescue.”
Robert told News 12 that there’s another good thing that came out of the 911 call. It’s clear that Ryan knows what to do in an emergency. “We just need to fine-tune it a little bit as to when it actually gets used,” he added.