This letter is overdue, but is meant to praise the actions of Jerry Sullivan, whom I happened to meet when he was off duty.
In July, while accompanying a young man with special needs to the Thinkery in Austin TX, the young man in question became extremely agitated and then enraged at myself and given the fact that he is a young man and I am not, surely you can imagine how quickly and easily things got out of hand. Jerry Sullivan happened to be there with his family in a non-official capacity and quickly came to the rescue, leaving his family and staying with myself and this young man for at least 45 minutes to an hour. For whatever reason, whether due to his training or the fact that he was anyone other than myself (who at this moment the young man clearly viewed as "the bad guy" for having taken away something that he wanted), Jerry was able to slowly but surely calm him down, and to lead him to an area that was not rife with small children and their parents, all of whom I am sure were very alarmed and not sure what to do at the intensity of what was unfolding.
At some point I asked Jerry if he just had a wealth of experience with people with special needs, or if this was a result of his experience with his own children, etc., and it was only then that he informed me he was a police officer. The man went way, way out of his way to come to my, indeed our aid, staying with us as I said for 45 minutes to an hour as we waited for the young man's mother. In any case, I was alone with the young man, it escalated physically and quite rapidly, and was quickly beyond my ability to control. I have no idea what would have happened if Jerry had not been there and willing to intervene but thank God that he was, and did, and I thank him sincerely and from the bottom of my heart.
With greatest thanks,