As a mom to a 4-year-old autistic boy, Taylor Pomilla, 24, knows that she has to be prepared all the time for any mishap while taking public transport. But an incident that happened on July 19 left her deeply impacted as she wrote about it captioning it as “A run in with the law” on Facebook.
“Andrews biggest behavior problem (that he has been working on by learning calming strategies) is that sometimes when he gets upset, it will go two steps too far, and escalate into a full on meltdown/breakdown,” she explained. On that fateful day, Andrew would not accept any of the snacks or sweets she normally keeps to calm him down, and decided that he just wanted to run up and down the aisle-way of the moving train.
“I kept trying everything to get him to sit, but he just wouldn’t (this fight went on for 20 min), that is when he his regular toddler tantrum turned into a meltdown, or what I call, the point of no return for him,” the mom wrote in her post.
She continued writing, “He started rolling on the floor, screaming, his shoe fell off and he flung it across the train, all while I’m on the floor trying to calm him down (in a dress) with all the candy I had. Then he starts the kicking, hitting, pulling my hair while everyone in rush hour stares on the train, most thinking I was a bad parent who had an out of control child, even though really he can’t help it.”
Pomilla explained that it was hard to for her son to process emotions, and so it gave way to erupt in displays of this kind, she wrote how disheartening it was when people around would judge her for being a bad parent without even knowing her situation. “Sometimes Andrews emotions just become too much for him to mentally work through, but when people start staring and Andrew notices, he takes this as opportunity to put on a show,” she wrote.
She wrote she would blurt our loudly that her son has autism so that people would stop staring at them as things were getting worse and she wanted to get off the train earlier. They exited the train much earlier with nearly half an hour left from their destination, she wanted to leave the station, but Andrew wouldn’t agree and continued his tantrum getting dirty from the gross station floor.
She says that it wasn’t a first time experience such as this with Andrew as a single parent, but this time it was too much and she started crying, and then started panicking when she saw a Metro Police Officer walk towards her.
Dominic Case was the police officer who walked up to them, on seeing the cop, her son became a changed man. “The officer asks me if I needed any help or if he could help by walking us out of station (since he saw how Andrew stopped when he came over) I explained the situation to him and how this wasn’t even our stop. He asked where I was going and I told him Ballston station (a solid 30 minutes from where we were). Without hesitation he said, ‘Okay I’ll come on the train.’”
He then asked Andrew, “Can you be a police man with me and help me do police work on the train?” Andrew accepted, and even held hands with the cop for the whole trip. “The officer ends up riding the metro THE ENTIRE train home with us!!! Whenever he got off he would hold Andrews hand and walk with him,” the grateful mother wrote. “He sat next to Andrew as he requested on the train, acted interested as he showed him silly videos, and he even made funny faces in the Instagram face filters when Andrew asked.”
The cop Case said that, “She definitely looked like she needed a little help,” and added, “He was having a tantrum and she was carrying a lot of bags.” He continued saying, “Being that he really wanted to hold my hand, it seemed like a calming thing at the time. It seemed the right thing to do.”
Case also has a 4-year-old at home, and so knew exactly what would keep Andrew entertained, he said it did not bother him to escort the little family. “I really didn’t mind riding with them,” Case said. “Her son seemed to be really happy I was there.”
I wanted to take a few minutes to share something incredible that happened today. This afternoon I picked up Andrew from…
Pomilla is very grateful to the officer and has even tagged media outlets to get his kindness recognized and get him a raise too.
“To that officer,” she wrote, “I truly can not say thank you enough for your [immeasurable] amount of kindness and for making Andrews day (probably his whole year).”
Officer Case has truly won our hearts with his act of kindness to single mother Pomilla and Andrew. We can’t even think of what would have happened if he did not come to their rescue.