VIDEO: IN Officer Saves Autistic Boy from Drowning in River

A dramatic scene unfolded Friday evening in South Bend, Indiana’s Howard Park as a police officer saved a young boy with autism from nearly drowning in the St. Joseph River.

It all began around 5 p.m. Indiana DNR says that the boy and his mother were walking on LaSalle when the 5-year-old suddenly took off sprinting. The mother had trouble keeping up as she was also carrying a 3-month-old child.

Indiana DNR says South Bend Police Officer Reid Spitaels saw the boy in the St. Joseph River at Howard Park. They say Officer Spitaels then jumped into the river, in full police gear, “without hesitation.”

Officer Spitaels pulled the boy safely to shore.

Officer Spitaels was previously awarded "Officer of the Month" by the South Bend Police Department in November 2016, WNDU TV reports.