First responders surprise teen with autism after only 2 friends show up to his birthday party
Andrea Diaz, CNN
(CNN) — First responders in Russellville, Arkansas, went above and beyond the call of duty to make a teen’s birthday party unforgettable.
Bradley Butler, who has autism, had just turned 15 and his dad, Ben Butler, thought he had everything ready for his son’s party on Sunday:
The perfect venue: Bradley’s favorite arcade. Check.
Mail the invitations weeks in advance. Check.
He received several RSVPs. The party was going to be a blast!
But when the big day came, only two of Bradley’s friends showed up.
“We had about 30 people RSVP but only three people showed, two of Bradley’s friends and one adult,” Butler told CNN affiliate KARK.
After waiting nearly two hours, Butler became worried his son was not going to get the party he was hoping for, so he decided to call for backup.
And nothing says “backup” like calling on his friend of 14 years, Justin Conway, a field officer with the Russellville Police Department, Butler told CNN.
The officer quickly invited his colleagues and the Russellville Fire Department to crash the party.
The Russellville Police Department shared the sweet story with a photo of Bradley and his two friends on Facebook.
“Our officers went to this young man’s birthday party after they learned that no one had come to his party. We were proud that we were able to make this party a little bit brighter for the birthday boy. We even invited the Russellville Fire Department to crash the party with us. Thanks to all who made this possible,” the post read.
Butler, who is a single parent, knew his longtime friend would help, but he never imagined the number of first responders who would show up.
“Several patrol cars began to show up, and the fire department also came with their fire engines,” Butler said.
As for Bradley, he’s happy he was able to share this experience with the two friends who attended the party, and his dad is thankful the officers took the time to make Bradley’s birthday so special.
“Bradley has been extremely grateful that everyone tried really hard to celebrate his birthday, and I’m just grateful that he’s happy,” Butler said.