CMPD Officer speaks about viral picture of him helping autistic teen

A CMPD officer is speaking about his experience after a picture of him helping an autistic teen has gone viral.

The teenager in the picture had gone missing from Myers Park High School. Officers feared he could be suicidal when they found him in a parking lot several miles from the school.

Officer Tim Purdy stepped in. He says he knew how to respond to the autistic teen, because his daughter had been to a summer camp for kids with autism.

Purdy said, “As I was approaching him, he sat on the curb, and I took the opportunity to get down on his level, and what I mean by that is coming in eye to eye contact with him.”

Purdy says they talked about school, football, and family. They shared a few laughs, and because of Purdy’s help, the teen calmed down, and Purdy literally picked him up off the ground, or was it the other way around?

Purdy said, “As I went to pull, he was using me, and I almost went over top of his shoulder, and I was like, ‘Woah!”

Even though the picture of Purdy and the teen has gotten an incredible response on Facebook, Purdy knew none of this until someone told him because he doesn’t even have a Facebook page.

Purdy said, “I actually had to have a younger officer teach me how to get on CMPD’s Facebook, so I could look at it.”

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