Officer rescues toddler with autism from pond

Posted at 11:44 AM, May 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-19 11:44:11-04

(CNN) - A Kansas police officer has been hailed as a hero after saving a young boy with autism from drowning.

Had police officer Aaron Bulmer arrived at Topeka Central Park any later, the outcome would have been tragic.

Bulmer was responding to a robbery call, but what he found was a three-year-old boy with autism who desperately needed help.

"I turned and looked and I see a small child about 100 yards ago," Bulmer said.

Bulmer said he didn't see any adults nearby.

"No adults. I glanced at him. He looked like my own son," he said. "I went around the block, I lost sight of him and that concerned me."

Following his gut, Bulmer got out of his police cruiser.

"Two or three seconds later, I see Elijah basically drowning right there in the pond," Bulmer said.

Bulmer ran to the child, who he said was "in the water" and "gasping for air." He called an ambulance while getting out of the water with Elijah.

Elijah's mother had been frantically looking for him.

She had left Elijah and their four other children at a local church, but he got out because he had figured out how to undo the building's locks.

The family was reunited at the ambulance after officers heard Bulmer yelling for Elijah.

Elijah was in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

Bulmer said he thinks Elijah would have drowned had he not been there. The boy's mother agrees.

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