MANHATTAN – When a man from Florida with autism found himself disoriented and in need of help, two of New York’s Finest from the NYPD’s 19th Precinct on the Upper East Side found themselves on a mission to reunite the man with his family.
“I knew we had to go above and beyond,” Officer Quezada recounted in a video released by the NYPD Chief of Department Juanita Holmes in a tweet.
When the Officers found out the man with autism also suffers from Parkinson’s disease— a progressive, debilitating nervous system disorder— they knew this guest in our city was particularly vulnerable.
“I also have family members that are autistic and other disabilities,” said Officer Quezada, “so, I took this very personally.”
Police say the man with autism had come to New York on a mission to find his birth certificate, unbeknownst to his family back in Florida.
Officers Quezada and Massafra immediately worked to get in touch with the man’s family and arranged for him to fly back to Florida– helping him get an airline ticket and driving the man to airport where the Officers saw him off on his journey back home.
“[We] stayed with him until he boarded his flight, gave him a call the next day, made sure he got home okay and was in good spirits and healthy,” Officer Massafra said, “the family was very happy for him to be home.”
“I was glad we were able to help the gentleman go to his family and be there, safe and sound,” Officer Quezada added.
“To the public, just remember, we’re here for you.”
Watch Officer Massafra & Officer Quezada of the @NYPD19Pct explain how they went the extra step when they found an autistic man from Florida with Parkinson’s, helping him get to Westchester Airport – and safely back to his family. pic.twitter.com/2zTZOWxzgU— Chief Juanita Holmes (@NYPDChiefPatrol) August 27, 2021