Indiana police officer jumps in river to save 5-year-old boy with autism

South Bend Police Officer Reid Spitaels. (South Bend Police Department)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WSBT) - A South Bend police officer is being called a hero for saving a 5-year-old boy from the St. Joseph River on Friday.

Police say a mother and her two sons were walking on LaSalle Avenue when her 5-year-old, who has autism, took off at a sprint.

She tried to keep up but lost sight of him.

Officer Reid Spitaels saw the boy in the river at Howard Park near a dam just downstream.

Without hesitation, he jumped into the river in full police gear and saved little Xavier.

The boy was taken to the hospital but is OK.