|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
||For More Information, Contact:
|December 4, 2007
||Coria Holland, Director of Communications
||617-727-5300, ext. 258
Norfolk Assistant Chief Probation Officer
Removes Boy Out of Harmís Way
The parents of a special needs
boy have two Probation employees to thank for saving their
Norfolk Juvenile Court Assistant Chief Probation
Officer Christopher Aylward and Stephen Fratalia, Director
of Resource Management in the Office of the Commissioner
of Probation, were traveling to a probationer's house to
hook up the electronic bracelet, when a nine-year-old autistic
boy ventured into their path on Route 1, a high-speed highway
also known as the "Automile."
The SUV Fratalia and Aylward were traveling
behind quickly swerved out of the way of an object in its
path. Fratalia, who came within 10-feet of the young boy,
was also forced to swerve his car to avoid hitting the
"We were heading down Route 1 south towards
Gillette Stadium going about 30 or 40 miles an hour when
we came upon a young boy, who appeared to be about 8 or
9 years old, in the middle of a high speed lane heading
north on the highway. He could have been killed," said
Aylward said, "I have seen a lot in probation
and you see a lot in life. This was something that we certainly
didn’t expect. He was jogging down a major highway.
There were a number of cars on the highway and the traffic
was definitely moving at a good clip."
Risking injury or worse, Aylward immediately
jumped out of the car and grabbed the child and moved him
out of the way of oncoming traffic. Fratalia and another
motorist jumped out of their cars to redirect traffic before
pulling over to the breakdown lane where Aylward had taken
"We tried to make sure that he was calm and
make sure that he would not bolt across the highway," Aylward
Dressed in a nylon football jacket, the child
was about four-feet tall and weighed less than 100 pounds.
The young boy was unable to tell Aylward and Fratalia his
name and he had no identification.
"He was incapable of communicating who he
was," said Fratalia.
Aylward said, "When we encountered this child,
he had no idea of the danger he was in. When we asked him
his name, he just looked skyward."
They called the state police who put them
in touch with the local police in Walpole. Shortly after
the police responded, two employees from the child's school
arrived on the scene and identified him as their student.
Fratalia and Aylward learned that the child
had walked a half mile from his school and had been missing
for about an hour. The child and his classmates were on
a nature walk near the school when he wandered off exiting
an unlocked gate which was in walking distance of a path
that led to the busy highway.