WOODBRIDGE TOWNSHIP, NJ — 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 upon necessary manpower — or so he thought.
He called 911.
“My teddy bear fell down again. Don’t worry I’ll rescue you again,” he is heard saying to a dispatcher. “Goodbye again. See you again.”
Ryan quickly hangs up before the dispatcher could even take the call.
“So they called back to find out if there was a problem,” the child’s father, Robert Paul, told PIX11. “When I picked up the phone, they were like, this is Woodbridge police did someone dial 911?”
Robert Paul soon realized what happened, explaining to the dispatcher that there was no emergency at their Sewaren home, but because they live in Woodbridge Township, police policy there requires an officer to respond to call hang-ups.
Officer Khari Manzini arrived just a few minutes later, and it turned out the rookie cop was well-equipped to handle the situation.
Manzini 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 we’re helping out safe,” he told PIX11. “You know it makes a great difference.”
In the end Ryan’s teddy bear was found right on the side of his bed.
The Paul family said they are eternally grateful for Manzini and the Woodbridge Police Department.
“You know he couldn’t have been more accommodating and understanding. It was really great,” Paul said.