The boy, 5-year-old Xavier Willard, was with his mother, Nicole Willard, as they were going to his music therapy session at Behavior & Services Therapy Inc. at 912 E. LaSalle Ave., when Xavier ran off. Xavier has a form of autism, Nicole Willard said.
Nicole said she ran to catch Xavier, but she also had her 3-month-old child with her and Xavier got away. She said a passer-by named Jon called police while another person named Tyler watched her child as she continued to run after Xavier.
Meanwhile, Patrolman Reid Spitaels answered a call of a missing 5-year-old about 5 p.m. and was heading there when the dispatchers updated the call to a boy seen in the St. Joseph River there, some 200 yards up stream from the dam at Century Center.
Once getting to the park scene, Spitaels said he and other officers saw the boy with hands waving as he struggled …