A 10-year-old autistic, non-verbal Piedmont boy who became separated from his father during a walk Monday evening was found safe in Oakland more than three hours later, according to the Piedmont Police Department.
Sgt. Catherine Carr said Valentino Sulimo was found by Oakland police shortly before 11 p.m. near 20th Street and Telegraph Avenue, still with the scooter he was riding when he disappeared.
Sulimo's father lost sight of the boy while they were walking in the 300 block of Wildwood Avenue about 6:30 p.m. Monday, Carr said.
She said four law enforcement agencies took part in the search, including about 35 active searchers in Piedmont. They included Explorers and reserve officers from the PPD, a tracking dog team from the East Bay Regional Park District and the Alameda County Sheriff's Department search and rescue team, which arrived on scene shortly before Sulimo was found.
Piedmont residents were alerted to the missing boy via a public safety dispatch issued by the PPD aout 7:45 p.m. Monday. Carr said many Piedmont residents responded with phone calls and offers to help in the search.
"We're grateful to the community for their support," she said.
A study published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday said autistic children often wander off and may frghtened by lights and sirens as emergency responders search for them, according to this article in the Oct. 8 New York Times.
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