Hero at Town Hall — Santino & Blakeman Salute Staffer Who Rescued Missing Autistic Boy During Nor’easter

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino and Councilman Bruce Blakeman, joined by Assemblyman Ed Ra, today saluted a town worker whose conscientious nature and quick thinking resulted in the rescue of an autistic boy who had been reported missing on Monday evening, January 23rd. Town Communications employee, Michael Caputo, discovered the boy sleeping in a shed behind his Franklin Square home on Tuesday morning during a vicious nor’easter. Caputo alerted police who responded to aid the young man. The town officials presented Caputo with a “key to the town” for his heroic actions.

“There are heroes among us right here in our hometown,” said Santino. “As a result of the quick thinking and conscientious nature of Michael Caputo, a young man is safe today.”

The rescue story began in the morning on Tuesday, January 24th when Mr. Caputo awoke to hear helicopters flying overhead in his neighborhood. After checking local news stations for information on the unusual activity—and not finding any—the Franklin Square resident texted a neighbor to inquire about the helicopters. Caputo was advised that police were searching for a 16-year-old autistic boy who lived in the neighborhood. A few minutes later, while retrieving trash barrels that were blown about his property during a serious nor’easter, the town worker had a hunch. He thought to himself, ‘my backyard shed looks a little bit like a house.’ Opening the shed doors, Caputo found a boy asleep in the backyard structure. The Franklin Square homeowner immediately alerted the Nassau County Police Department, and officers responded to the shed.

“Franklin Square is a neighborhood that is like a big family. Residents care and look out for one another,” said Blakeman. “A neighbor who cared enough to take action is now a hero.”

Caputo showed a unique sensitivity during the rescue, not disturbing the teen, fearing he would alarm the youth. Instead, he contacted police and got blankets to keep his neighbor warm and safe.

Supervisor Santino and the Councilman presented Caputo with a “key to the town,” calling the town employee a “genuine hometown hero.”

“Mike Caputo is a hometown hero, and a local boy is safe because of his actions,” said Santino. “I am happy that he was able to help a young man in need, and I am proud that he is a member of the town’s workforce.”