RIGBY, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - When Rigby police officer Chris Scott pulled up to the police department, he had no idea the publicity he would receive days later from a simple decision he made.
“He looked like he kind of had a bad day, so I pulled over and I sat down,” Scott said.
It was that decision to sit down that has the world talking. Scott sat down next to Kyson Baler, a nonverbal autistic 9-year-old.
Kyson had just been dropped off at Journey's, a Development Disability Agency, in Rigby. He had been assigned a new case worker. Kyson doesn't do well with change and ran out the door when Scott saw him and made the decision to sit.
“I just sat there for a few minutes and let him do his thing,” Scott said." He pointed at my patch and I happened to have a challenge coin on me that had the patch on the opposite side and then badge on the other side. I gave him that and said are you ready to go back inside? He had a smile on his face and he was good to go."
What Scott did not know is Kyson's new caseworker had snapped a picture of his simple gesture.
“I went to dispatch the night before last and the dispatcher said 'hey, nice picture' and I said 'what are you talking about?' They showed it to me,” Scott said. “I said 'where did you guys get that?'
The picture Scott didn't know about had been posted to social media by Kyson's mother.
“It's priceless,” Jessica Baler said. “That picture says a thousand words.”
Since being posted, the picture had been shared over 6,000 times and has been seen around the world.
“I never imaged the reaction was going to be so huge,” Baler said. “I mean, we have had thousands of shares all over the U.S., the United Kingdom, Ireland, Egypt. The photo has been shared over and over.”
Scott and Kyson had never met each other before, aside from an occasional passing. Journey's office is next door to the police station.
"I think it is just reassuring for the whole community of the positive that we have,” Baler said.”
The two officially met for the first time Tuesday night as KIFI/KIDI cameras were rolling.
"For you to take the time to sit down with Kyson, means the world to me,” Baler said to Scott. “Thank you.”
What makes the meeting even more special is that Kyson has a dream of being a police officer.
“He took the time to make sure that he was okay, to comfort him,” Baler said. “It just shows the compassion he truly had instead of just of moving on past it.”
For Scott, a U.S. Navy veteran, the new-found fame is foreign but he is glad it could come from a simple gesture.
"When I got back to the police department (after sitting with Kyson), I had a smile on my face,” Scott said.