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8-Year-Old Autistic Boy Pulled From Overpeck Creek OK, Authorities Say

An ABC 7 Eyewitness News chopper provided this photo.
An ABC 7 Eyewitness News chopper provided this photo. Photo Credit: ABC 7 Eyewitness News

PALISADES PARK, N.J. -- An 8-year-old autistic boy who wandered off from his family "made it" after rescuers pulled him from Overpeck Creek in Palisades Park early Friday evening, authorities told Daily Voice.

The boy's parents, after realizing the boy was missing, activated Project Lifesaver, a special rapid-response device that helps locate adults and children who have gone missing due to Alzheimer’s, autism, Down Syndrome, dementia and other related disorders, said Anthony Cureton of the Bergen County Sheriff's Office.

Moments later, "someone in a nearby building saw him bouncing around in the water and dialed 911," Cureton told Daily Voice. "Then he went under."

Police from Palisades Park, Leonia and Ridgefield, along with Bergen County sheriff's officers and other responders, were at the spot in Overpeck Park instantly, witnesses said.

They pulled him from the water and conducted CPR.

The boy was taken to Holy Name Medical Center and later transported to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, responders said.

Palisades Park Police Lt. Matthew Finck, Sgt. Christopher Beck, Detective George Beck, Ridgefield Police Officer Daniel Berger and Leonia Police Officer John Longo were among the responders.

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PROJECT LIFESAVER: Participants are fitted with a lightweight wristband with its own unique frequency. If you are interested in enrolling a love one in the progam, call the Bergen County Sheriff's Community Outreach Unit: (201) 336-3540.

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