SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — When police are trying to find you, it’s normally not a good thing.
But in South Brunswick, they tracked down a group of kids they’re calling superheroes, CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reported Thursday.
It all started at a skate park, where 5-year-old Carter Bruynell was playing around on his scooter. Carter has autism and when a bunch of older kids showed up at the park he got nervous.
“Carter kind of said, ‘Oh no,’ and he thought he was going to have to leave because, you know, he’s little,” said Kristen Braconi, Carter’s mother.
But instead of taking over the place, the kids started playing with Carter. And when his mom mentioned it was the little boy’s birthday, the strangers started singing “Happy Birthday” to him.
One student even gave Carter a mini skateboard she happened to have.
“I had won a little skateboard at school that day and me and one of my other friends, we decided to give it to him for his birthday,” 13-year-old Samantha Schwab said.
Then one of the teens taught Carter how to use it.
Carter’s mom was so touched, she posted the story and videos on Facebook.
“They were just so, so kind to him and he’s still talking about it. He watched the videos for two days,” Kristen said.
South Brunswick Police Lt. Gene Rickel saw the post on Facebook and was so impressed, he wanted to find the kids. So he sent out a tweet saying “looking to find some superheroes,” along with a picture of the group.
“When we saw these videos we thought that they were really exceptional, that these older kids were taking care of this 5-year-old, somebody who’s just trying to have a great time on their birthday,” Lt. Rickel said.
Calls started pouring in and within hours the teens were identified and went back to the skate park to meet up with Carter. It turns out it was 13-year-old Gavin Mabes who helped teach Carter how to skateboard.
“At first he started because he wanted go down the ramp, so I started giving him tips so he wouldn’t fall and then I started skating with him,” Mabes said.
Carter then told CBS2’s Hsu how much he enjoyed the attention he was receiving, adding he had a great birthday.
The kids also received challenge coins from the police, which are given in recognition of exceptional actions.
And, of course, Carter got one, too.
“It gives me a lot of hope because as he gets older I hope he’s the next kid who is like Gavin, who is doing this for some other kid,” Kristen said.
There’s no doubt he will, especially with all his new role models.
The police department also plans on throwing a pizza party for the kids next week.
And, yes, Carter will be there, too.