Watch: Officer saves 4-year-old with autism after boy tumbles into pond

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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WATCH: Body Camera Captures Rescue Of 4-Year-Old Boy

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A Kansas police officer sprang into action when he spotted a child’s flailing arm after the 4-year-old fell into a pond Sunday, grabbing the child from the chilly water and reuniting him with his parents.

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“(I) just kind of felt the intuition or God’s calling that I needed to get out of my car,” Topeka police Officer Aaron Bulmer said Wednesday at a news conference. “I felt God’s hand of protection on that child and he used me as an instrument.”

Bulmer was searching Topeka’s Central Park neighborhood on Sunday after officers were alerted to a disturbance in the area. While circling around the park that gave the neighborhood its name, Bulmer noticed a small child.

He circled the block to check on the child, but lost sight of him. He didn’t see any adults around and pulled over to search for the boy.

“(I) saw a small hand flailing -- I saw him gasping for air,” he said. “I saw his face in the water and without any reaction, I just jumped in. It’s not anything I thought about.”

Body camera footage released by the police department showed Bulmer jumping into the water after the boy and holding the child up as he panted, shocked by the cold water. With the help of a passer-by, Bulmer got the child out of the water and called for assistance.

“Over the last 48 hours, I’ve had the time to think about how that could have been my young one,” Bulmer said. “I jumped into action just like anybody would have – any citizens, or at least most citizens, and definitely all first responders. You just do it, you just get the kid out of the way.”

While Bulmer got help, officers in another part of Central Park heard a man screaming for his son. Jacklyn Hamby said her husband was alone with their 4-year-old, Elijah, when the child slipped out of their house. Elijah has autism, Hamby said.

“Dad had to go to the bathroom,” she said, adding that her husband set Elijah up in his bedroom and made sure the front door was locked before using the restroom. When he returned to the room about 10 minutes later, Elijah was gone and the back door was open.

“I don’t think enough words, actions or anything would possibly be able to describe how thankful or grateful that we are that (Bulmer) was in that place at that time,” Hamby said.

Elijah wasn’t injured by his fall into the pond and has since returned to school, Hamby said.

“Daily life has resumed normal for him,” she said. “He’s just a little extra-lovey than he was before.”

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