UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: Cops rescue autistic man from Mill River

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cops rescue autistic man from Mill River

Police Officer William Demotses was eating lunch Saturday when he heard the call over his radio: An autistic man had jumped into the Mill River, and was refusing pleas from family and emergency personnel to return to shore.
Demotses, a member of of the Police Department's dive team, grabbed his gear and headed to the scene where the 19-year-old was in the water, swimming back and forth. "He was about 20 feet off shore," Demotses said Monday, but never went under the water's surface. "He was getting pretty far out."
Demotses donned his dry suit, and with Sgt. Edward Weihe and Officer Lance Newkirchen went into the water.
"We grabbed him and brought him to the shore and handed him off to the officers waiting on shore," Demotses said. He said the man did not struggle with officers. They were never in water over their heads, he recalled, but noted the water is still cold, only about 50 degrees.
Officers didn't know how tired the man was after running close to a mile from his home to the Tide Mill bridge over the Mill River. "He needed to get out of that water as fast as possible," Demotses said.
The incident began when police received a report that a 19-year-old man, described as "highly autistic," was missing about 1:20 p.m. from his Fairfield home. He was last seen by witnesses running through traffic toward Sasco Hill Road.
With the help of K-9 Officer Kevin Wells and the police dog, Ruger, the man was located running along Harbor Road. He stopped on Tide Mill Bridge, climbed to the top of a wall and jumped into the water, police said. READ MORE:

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