Police Officer Comforts Special Needs Boy by Sitting With Him During Meltdown in Viral Photo

| Inspiration

A police officer in Idaho is being applauded for his heartwarming gesture of kindness after he took time out from his day to comfort a special needs boy.

Officer Chris Scott of the Rigby Police Department told ABC affiliate, ABC-8 that he noticed the child, Kyson Baler, was looking “like he kind of had a bad day,” and decided to pull over and sit with him.

After being dropped off at a Development Disability Agency in their town of Rigby, Idaho, the nonverbal, autistic 9-year-old wasn’t happy with being assigned a new case worker. As it is known, child with autism do not sit well with change. Kyson was no different and ran out the door — that was when the officer saw him.

“I just sat there for a few minutes and let him do his thing,” Scott said. “He pointed at my patch and I happened to have a challenge coin on me that had the patch on the opposite side and then badge on the other side. I gave him that and said are you ready to go back inside? He had a smile on his face and he was good to go.”

MORE: Watch: Family Praises Police Officer After He Rescues 4-Year-Old With Autism From Pond

Little did Scott know was that Kyson’s new caseworker had snapped the photo of their tender moment, which was shared to social media shortly after, garnering more than 3,000 reactions, and 11,000 shares.

“I went to dispatch the night before last and the dispatcher said ‘hey, nice picture’ and I said ‘what are you talking about?’ They showed it to me,” Scott said

The boy’s mother, Jessica Beins Baler shared the image to the department’s Facebook page and wrote that Scott deserves a “special thank you.”

“He saw my son having a ‘moment’ outside of Journeys and stopped to come comfort him. Kyson truly looks up to the police officers in our community!” she wrote.

Scott tells ABC-8 that he never imagined the reaction to his gesture would be so huge.

“I mean, we have had thousands of shares all over the U.S., the United Kingdom, Ireland, Egypt. The photo has been shared over and over.”


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Tania Hussain |

Tania Hussain is a native of Toronto and a Hoosier at heart, studying journalism at Ball State University in Indiana. She has a mad love for fine cheese, film, music, and meeting people upon her many travels. When Tania’s not writing at Womanista, she can be found going for long nature runs, rooting for the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Cardinals, photographing sights and food, or writing for her online magazine, The Hudsucker. She is also a member of the Indy-based, Society of Professional Journalists—one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists.