Police say they found a missing Franklin Square teen with autism wearing green pajamas, a T-shirt and no shoes just hours before the latest winter storm was expected to hit Long Island.
Joseph Barbella, 18, was reported missing from his home on Commonwealth Street around 3 a.m. Tuesday, police say, about 15 minutes after his father had last seen him.
Hundreds of officers helped in the nearly 12-hour search, including K-9 and aviation units and mounted police. Nassau Police Detective Michael Bitsko says even police recruits helped in the search.
One fire official even drove the streets blasting the theme song to one of Barbella’s favorite TV shows — “The Honeymooners.”
But it was a local man who says he found Barbella hidden and shivering his backyard on Rintin Street.
“I saw the bushes shaking, and I saw him behind the bushes,” that man told reporters, identifying himself only as Michael. “I’m just glad he’s OK, just happy that we found him before the snowstorm.”
Authorities say he seemed to be in good health when they found him, but they took him to a hospital for evaluation.
Barbella had also gone missing in February before turning up in Malverne and another time last year. He was wearing a tracking device that authorities say they are examining.
The teen is at Winthrop Hospital in good condition.
- Category: Autism in the News
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