This situation could easily have gone wrong. An autistic North Carolina teen with a history of violent behavior, and who school officials believed was also suicidal, left his school campus without permission. School officials immediately called the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, which dispatched Officer Tim Purdy.
When the officer arrived, he found the teen sitting by himself in a parking lot. The officer sat with the teen and talked. The two even shared a laugh, WNCN reports.
A photo was snapped of Purdy and the teen talking and was shared on the CMPD's Facebook page. The post has since gone viral.
"In order to build a connection with the young man, Officer Purdy sat next to him on the ground, talked things through and even got him laughing," the Facebook post read.
Because the officer was able to talk with the young man, the student was able to get the help he needed.
"There's more to policing than making arrests and enforcing the law," the post continued. "Sometimes taking those extra little steps makes the biggest difference in someone's life."
Read more at WNCN.