Thankful mom reunited with transit cop who calmed her autistic son on train ride
Noisy train platforms can get overwhelming for anybody, but for 4-year-old Andrew, who has autism, a recent ride put him over the edge
By Theresa Braine
New York Daily News
A Washington, D.C., single mom was reunited with the transit officer who helped calm her autistic young son on the Metro train system.
Taylor Pomilla had the chance to thank him in person this week after learning his identity through a Facebook post.
Noisy train platforms can get overwhelming for anybody, but for 4-year-old Andrew, who has autism, a recent ride put him over the edge.
Andrew had a complete meltdown, his mother recounted on Facebook, and she was at the edge of despair over how to calm him and get them both home when a transit officer walked up to them. He not only calmed the boy down and rode the train all the way to her stop, but also gave the boy his badge.
Pomilla’s Facebook post detailed that Metro Transit Police Officer Dominic Case had approached them during that fateful ride as her son was rolling on the floor screaming, flinging his shoe and drawing stares from fellow rush hour passengers.
As soon as Case came over, her son froze and stared, captivated. The officer, whose name Pomilla did not know, offered to “come on the train,” she said.
“At this point I’m thinking he means like down the escalator to the train,” Pomilla recounted. “He starts talking with Andrew and showing him all his gadgets. He then takes off his Velcro police badge from his vest and asks Andrew, ‘Can you be a police man with me and help me do police work on the train?’ Of course Andrew says yes.”
Pomilla added, “the officer ends up riding the metro THE ENTIRE train home with us!!!”
He held Andrew’s hand, walked with him during train transfers, and watched the boy’s “silly videos,” she said.
He topped it off by letting the boy keep the badge.
“It was a perfect ride and honestly, just to breathe for a second was nice,” Pomilla told WUSA-TV.
Her gratitude went viral, Case was identified, and the two met up on Wednesday.
“I just approached them as I would approach any situation. I have a 4-year-old boy the same age,” Case told the station. “I tried to get down to his level and distract him a little bit. Metro can be a scary place, even for adults.”
To boot, Case, who has worked with the Metro Transit Police Department for five years, participates in an annual autism sensitivity training, WUSA said.
“What you posted was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for us,” Case told Pomilla when they met.
“This officer completely went out of his way to help Andrew,” Pomilla wrote in her post. “He honestly restored my faith that there are good people still left in the world.”
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