A police officer is receiving praise after saving a 4-year-old boy with autism from a cold pond on Sunday.
The Topeka Police Department in Kansas released video on Tuesday of Officer Aaron Bulmer rescuing a young boy who almost drowned in a city pond.
Blumer told the Topeka-Capital Journal that God put him in that situation, saying, “He allowed me to be in the right place at the right time.”
After responding to a call in the area, the officer noticed a young boy walking towards a pond near the Central Park Community Center. As he continued driving, he got a better view of the child and noticed something was wrong.
Blumer reached the child in a matter of seconds after noticing him flailing face down in the pond. When he pulled the child out and brought him to shore, he notified dispatchers what happened and called for an ambulance.
As reported by the Topeka-Capital Journal, the 4-year-old, identified by CBS News as Elijah, was autistic and apparently walked to the park from his home two blocks away. Police official say the parents were looking for him, but were unable to locate his whereabouts.
“It definitely would have been a drowning if I would have been 30 seconds to a minute later,” Bulmer said. “That kid would have drowned. He was flailing his arms and his head was fully submerged — you can actually see that on the video.”
Footage of the incident was captured by Bulmer’s body cam and showed him approaching the pond as Elijah appeared to struggle in the water.
After being taken to the hospital and evaluated, he was reunited with his parents.
“When I came to find out later that he had autism it really struck me,” the officer said in a news conference. “It was one of those things that I need to educate myself more about.”
The child’s mother was at the news conference on Monday, and said that Elijah is “doing great” after the incident.
“I’m very grateful that everything turned out the way that it did. Because things could have been way worse,” she said. “I don’t think enough words, actions or anything would possibly be able to describe how thankful or grateful that we are that [Bulmer] was in that place at that time.”
Autism 101: Effective Ways to Help Your Child Communicate and Thrive
Breakthrough At-Home Tool Helps Children With Autism
Groundbreaking Study Might Help to Predict Autism in Babies Before Symptoms Appear