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Milwaukee Police Officers Describe Daring Rescue of Boy with Autism from River

Two Milwaukee police officers, who helped rescue a six year old boy with Autism from the Menomonee River near Miller Park are sharing their story. The police officers just happened to be tailgating nearby Tuesday when the boy's father went up to them saying his son was missing. The entire search lasted only a few minutes, and it sounds like their fatherly instincts, more than just their academy training, helped in this situation.

"The dad of the boy came over by the officers that were there and that he reported that his little boy was missing that he had Autism," said Detective Alex Ayala.

Detective Ayala, who was off-duty at the time, joined on-duty bike officers who eventually found the boy about 75 to 100 feet off shore down a steep embankment.

"He was down a landing, and then down the Hank Aaron trail and then down another hill and then under the bridge for Miller Park," Det. Ayala added.

Knowing the boy is on the Autism spectrum, Ayala and Officer Jose Acevedo, were careful not to scare him, but the situation soon became urgent.

"When he was in the water, it seemed like he was swimming, but at one point he did go underneath the water. That's when, you know, Detective Ayala picked him up right out of the water," Ofcr. Acevedo said.

Det. Ayala estimates the water was up to his knee, but it was up to the boy's chest.

"You can still drown in that much water," Det. Ayala said.

Luckily, this story doesn't end that way.

"Instinct kicked in, we're both fathers, so that's a big key there and once we heard about that child missing and being six years old right away we were like we gotta do something," Ofcr. Acevedo said.

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