Police Praise Teens For Surprising 5-Year-Old Boy with Autism at Skate Park

March 29, 2019

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- A group of New Jersey teenagers made an autistic boy's 5th birthday extra special.

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Carter Braconi was playing on his scooter at a skate park when a group of older kids showed up.

"Carter kind of said, 'Oh no,' and he thought he was going to have to leave because, you know, he's little," his mother Kristen Braconi told CBS2.


He was surprised when the older kids started playing with him and serenaded him with 'happy birthday.'

"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.

They even taught him how to use it.

"They were just so, so kind to him and he's still talking about it. He watched the videos for two days," Kristen said.

Kristen posted the videos to Facebook and they eventually made their way to the feed of South Brunswick Police Lt. Gene Rickel. He tweeted the picture and asked for help identifying the teens that he called 'superheroes.'

"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.

Gavin Mabes, 13, was identified as the one who taught Carter 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.

Cops gave out challenge coins to all of the kids including Carter.

"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.

Carter and his new friends are getting a pizza party courtesy of the police department, next week.

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