Missing autistic teen found after Echo Park search

A 15-year-old autistic teen who ran away from home tonight was found after police launched a search across Echo Park and Angeleno Heights.  Sgt. Orpin with the Rampart Division said a resident called the police after seeing the boy, who is deaf and mute.  The search had been called off by about 10 p.m. Orpin had no further details about the incident.  A police helicopter spread the news about the missing boy to residents below through a loudspeaker.

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  1. I could hear the helicopter making those announcements over here in Silver Lake (near Vendome). Went on for quite a while.

    Glad they found the kid.

  2. I had heard a bunch of gunfire earlier. Was saying i wasnt sure, maybe it was fireworks. Roommate joked that we should wait and see if the choppers come.. two minutes later, choppers. I was expecting a normal few minute search, but nothing was normal as they started calling out from the helicopter. Initially they thought he was 5. You could hear with every rotation the new information that the police were getting about the boy. My heart sank when they said he was autistic.

    One thing I found quite odd, why were they not speaking the message in Spanish as well? With the amount of Spanish speaking people here, I found it bizarre that their potential help would be eliminated. Not too mention, it has to be pretty off putting to hear the skies screaming at you and you dont know what they are saying.

    Glad he is safe.

  3. We heard helicopters and loudspeakers around 8:45 and couldn’t make out all the info, just something about a missing 15 year old. Glad to hear he was found – thanks for the update.

  4. I’m on Kensington near Bellevue and could hear the helicopter and only partial announcements, so I’m glad someone else confirmed that at first I thought I heard they were saying a 5-year old boy, then it was a teenager.

    I never heard he was autistic, but I figured there had to be some kind of developmental or physical disability for there to be such activity over a run-away teen.

    BTW, the sounds from earlier (and last night) were definitely fireworks and not gun shots; I’ve heard enough of both to tell the difference.

  5. Definitely fireworks, I’ve heard them the last couple of nights. And I second your thoughts on the lack of a Spanish language version of the message.

  6. Why have a spanish language version?

  7. Are you being sarcastic, or trying to be funny Alexis?
    Its 90% Spanish speaking in my neighborhood, so one would think it would almost be spoken in Spanish first.

    I don’t subscribe to the “speak English, you’re in America” garbage if that is what you are implying.

  8. I would find it hard to believe that 90% of residents in any neighborhood not south of the border speak exclusively Spanish.

    And I don’t care what garbage you subscribe to.

    Sorry this isn’t in Spanish.

  9. Alexis —
    I don’t care what your politics are but your comments belie extreme ignorance. Apparently, you have not traveled extensively in Southern California where many neighborhoods are 95% Latino and most speak Spanish. Nobody said that they speak “exclusively” Spanish, but some of these Spanish-speaker (many even) are more fluent in Spanish than in English.

    As for Echo Park, it is 50% Latino according to the last Census and while some (maybe most) speak English quite well (as do I) there is a size-able majority that are predominantly Spanish-speaking. I find your suggestion that they should be excluded from emergency-messages to be highly offensive and quite un-neighborly.

    Your attempt at sarcasm, also a little off-putting. Sorry.

  10. I have “traveled” extensively in Southern California, lived in the neighborhood forever, blah blah blah.

    Wanting someone “excluded” from emergency messaging? I don’t remember writing that. But maybe that’s just and example of my “extreme” ignorance.

    I guess I’m just reacting to the fact that a thrown together search for a missing person, performed fairly well by an always understaffed and underpaid police force, is criticized for not including an officer as fluent in Spanish as English. I would guess that the lack of a Spanish speaking officer wasn’t an oversight nor overt exclusion, as much as an reasoned judgement based on resources and available personnel. I’d say they did a pretty good job, but that some people will never be happy with anything, especially on this blog.

    I swear if someone were giving away free gold bricks down on Sunset, there’d be people here complaining about how heavy the bricks were and about how there wasn’t adequate advertising announcing the gold giveaway and how long the line was and on and on.

  11. Alexis —
    I stand by my last post. The message from the helicopter was an “emergency” message regarding a missing, disabled, minor. You suggested that it need not be in Spanish. I also challenged the factual premise of your post (that there are no 90% Latino or “Spanish-Speaking” communities anywhere south of the border), and I still do.

    I agree that people on this post can be a little bit curmudgeonly, but that’s the nature of neighborhood blogs. If we can keep the communication civil and find some bases of agreement then great. That’s the point of this blog. That’s my only reason for engaging you on this topic.

    Have a good day.

  12. I commend LAPD for their actions on Sunday evening. The only time I heard the helicopter announcing something was to tell me to go back inside my house. Why does a good deed have to be analyzed? Immediate action took place and if I thought my neighbors did not understand I would find a way to translate in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, etc.

  13. Alexis Montague

    I suggested nothing, and stand by my posts.

    And I wish you well, as well.

  14. Alexis — Really? Which post do you stand by?

    The one where you question “Why have a spanish language version?”
    Or the one where you, sarcastically, apologize: “Sorry this isn’t in Spanish.”
    Or the one where you back-track by stating that you you never suggested that emergency messaging should not be Spanish?

    Seriously, I don’t follow your logic.

  15. Alexis Montague

    Yes, I stand by all 3, although I never backtracked. Please explain/post how I “suggested that emergency messaging should not be in Spanish”
    And it’s ok if you don’t follow my logic. I have no expectation that you would.

  16. I already explained it amply above. Take a course in logic.

  17. By the way, Alexis, I was not the only person on this blog who thought you made that suggestion. Apparently, everybody here is stupid except for you. Must be nice to live in your world.

  18. Alexis Montague

    Everybody that reads this blog is stupid? I mean, except for me?

    If my world is one of poor reading comprehension, then no, it is not nice.

    And in summation; I’m glad they found the kid, applaud the LAPD for a quick response to a serious situation, and feel for those whose delicate sensibilities are so easily offended by the internet.

    I’m off to take my course in logic. Thanks for the suggestion!

  19. Alexis:
    Sorry. You started this. “I don’t care what garbage you subscribe to.” (?) Really, you did not think, expect that somebody would take you on? In Echo Park? For multiple, varied reasons, this just does not make sense to me.

    I don’t get how somebody who questions whether emergency services should be provided in Spanish came to live in Echo Park. Seriously, it does not seem like this neighborhood would suit you at all. It would make for a very unhappy existence, but to each their own.

  20. Alexis Montague

    Sorry you don’t understand!

  21. Like I said, to each their own.

  22. Thank you, Eastsider! I’m often exasperated by the inability to find out news in this city. Only in LA can you have a helicopter shouting from the sky, and nothing in any “regular” news outlets about what happened! Some friends and I were quite worried, and even took a walk around our immediate neighborhood in the off chance that we might find him. Glad to know he was found.

    I agree it would’ve been helpful if the announcement had been in more than just English. I do applaud LAPD for the action they did take–we were quickly able to flag a patrol car down and get more info from an officer, and it was clear talking to him that info was a bit scattered at first, so they seemed to be wrestling with a moving target. They did lose out on some extra eyes by not making any announcements in Spanish or even Filipino or Tagalog (the officer said the boy was Filipino and initially went missing from Historic Filipinotown). That’s the benefit of hindsight and, whatever the reason, I hope it’s something that the powers that be keep in mind for the inevitable next time. In the meantime, I’m just glad he was found.

  23. Posts via Alexis… ugh.

  24. eee, if that is your real name, thanks for the meaningful insight!

  25. Why was it a meaningful insight?

  26. A reasoned and logical statement that cut to the heart of the matter, delivered with clarity and brevity. eee very well may be the Mark Twain of the east side.

  27. I bet you’re a nineteen year old taking an Intro to Philosophy class at LACC. Thanks for schooling the Eastsiderla.com Proletariat. “Logic” and “Reason” lol. Ignatius J. Reilly over here. Fuckin’ hell. Hahaha.

  28. I think you’d lose that bet, but I understand how cutting your comment was intended to be. Nice job!

  29. I think @CT put it very well……..

    “They did lose out on some extra eyes by not making any announcements in Spanish or even Filipino or Tagalog (the officer said the boy was Filipino and initially went missing from Historic Filipinotown). That’s the benefit of hindsight and, whatever the reason, I hope it’s something that the powers that be keep in mind for the inevitable next time. In the meantime, I’m just glad he was found.”

    Alexis, maybe you don’t feel a need for there to be improvement, but as @Cristi stated, when 50% or more of a neighborhood is Spanish speaking, it is important to take that into consideration, especially when it could save a life.

    Yes, sometimes things work as they are. But sometimes things can work BETTER if improved upon, based on feedback, and hindsight. Although you may choose to the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” idea @Alexis, some of us have some VERY logical based feedback. It is very foolish to ignore the reality of the world around you. Which I am not accusing you of. But in a situation where as @CT pointed out, more eyes could have been helping to look for a disabled boy and could help save a life, why do you insist on having things done YOUR way or the American way?

    If we have the resources to do things, why not do them? Do you not want lives saved? Or only those that are like you?

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