WARREN, MIch. (WJBK) - A mother in Warren is relieved to have her 4-year-old son safe and at home with her after he ran out of the house. The child has autism and is non-verbal and this story could have had a tragic end. But well-trained police and a Good Samaritan are responsible for a safe return.
On Monday morning, Jessica Miller of Warren had the scare of her life. She was in the bathroom for only a few minutes and when she came out her non-verbal son with autism was gone -- and the door was wide open.
She called 911 right away and to her relief, her child was already found. In her 911 call the operator reassured her that "I think we may have him."
"We received a radio run that a citizen had found a 4-year-old running down the street," says Officer Timothy Kulhanek.
Someone found Benjamin running around and playing in the street and immediately called 911 to report it.
"As we approached, the child started to take off and run," Kulhanek says. "We chased him down and got him and you could tell by the way his body reactions were that he had some special needs."
Warren police receive special training in dealing with people with autism and that's something Benjamin's mom is incredibly thankful for.
"They did amazing, my family and me," Miller says. "I can't thank the police department enough."
Miller wanted to make sure the officers were recognized, so she posted a photo of her son thanking police on our Facebook page.
"They went above and beyond and that's why I wanted to show awareness and put the word out there because I feel like they don't get enough thank yous," Miller said.
"That's probably one of the highlights of the job to do something like that," Kulhanek says. "It could have been something completely worse. And thankfully with the help of the citizens and the Warren Police Department, we were able to get the child back home very quickly."
"I just want to make sure I thank the guy whoever, I don't know who called the police and followed him," Miller says. "I can't thank that person enough."