Facebook post of CMPD officer comforting teen with autism goes viral

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Facebook post has gone viral showing a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer helping a young autistic high school student who had left campus.

“(It’s) not a story about what Tim Purdy did, but what law enforcement does every day,” Purdy said.

Purdy talked Tuesday about the call, and shined a light on the positive work of his brothers and sisters in blue.

He said they often respond to help people with mental health issues, and some can be violent or suicidal.

“One of the first things I did was to get down to his level,” Purdy said. “Take a deep breath and not say anything for a couple minutes.”

Purdy knelt so the two could see eye-to-eye and slowly made the young man feel comfortable enough to open up.

“We ended up talking about school, football. We talked about his family, about a couple different things and got things,” Purdy said.

They even shared a chuckle over Doublemint gum.

“He took a piece of gum and put it in his mouth and started putting the pack together and busted out laughing,” Purdy said.

The situation came to a peaceful resolution, and the student returned safely to his family.

It led to an outpouring of positive support online about Purdy's work and all police.

“Some of the comments about having faith in police officers, that's what we need today,” Purdy said.

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