Just before 8:30 pm Sunday, the family of a 13-year-old special needs female reported her missing after she was riding a pink bicycle. She was later found just before 10:00 pm in Oakley.
According to the family, they last saw her around 7:15 pm on her bicycle and when they could not locate her, they called police. Antioch Police responded and began doing an area check and provided a photo to get out to the public.
Around 9:15 pm, citizens who recognized the photograph of the girl from social media reported seeing her in the area of Big Break in Oakley. A second caller reported she was at Main Street and Big Break in Oakley.
Antioch police quickly organized a search with Oakley police checking shopping centers. A short time after, an Antioch Police officer located the pink bicycle outside Raley’s.
She was then located inside and her parents were called.
What most people in East Contra Costa County or this Country will never know or see is the compassion and sensitivity police showed to this scared girl who thought she was being arrested–according to friends, the girl is non verbal special needs. She kept putting her hands behind her back and leaning on the police car waiting to get hand cuffed.
Police kept telling her “no, no, no… you are not being arrested” and kept trying to distract her prior to her parents arriving. They tried to get her water, soda and something to eat or show her the police vehicle. They also had her showing them her bicycle and seeing if there was anything she needed.
Police ultimately had to place her in the car because she kept wanting to wander away, go back into the store, and tripping over her bicycle.
This was model behavior that unfortunately, if we had filmed it, probably would never show up on TV outlets but would showcase a different side of law enforcement that should be praised.