McLean County Sheriff’s Deputies surprise man with autism for his 18th birthday with gifts, desserts

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — A kind act built on years of relationship.

A birthday surprise for 18-year-old Tyler Mudge, put together by nine McLean County Sheriff’s Deputies before their shift on Thursday.

Melissa Shipley wanted to spread positivity by sharing this story with WMBD. She says she’s like a ‘mama bear’ for her 18-year-old son Tyler, and the kind act done by the McLean County Sheriff’s officers brought her tears of joy.

“Just to see what they’re doing, it was their idea, they remembered his birthday, they came out to give him gifts. It just shows that not every police officer throughout the country are bad,” Shipley said.

Smiling from ear to ear, welcoming an unexpected surprise.

“It just really meant a lot to me, they’ve really done a lot for me,” Melissa said. “He’s just too strong for us to deal with some of the stuff he does so we need their help.”

Melissa Shipley’s son Tyler, has autism. She says sometimes he can have violent outbursts, but even when officers respond to their Bloomington home, deputies don’t treat him any differently because of his disability.

“They treat him like a person. They treat him like somebody who’s not disabled,” Shipley said.

Tyler’s mother says each of these officers has had a positive impact on Tyler’s life, keeping him safe when he has his outbursts.

“He feels like he’s safe when they’re here, and that’s what starts him calming down,” Shipley said.

Shipley says sometimes the officers are just able to talk to him and work with him through what he’s feeling.

McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage says he’s proud of his officers for the care they showed to Tyler and his family. He says this comes from years of building a relationship.

“Our guys have a soft spot in their heart for Tyler,” Sheriff Sandage said.

Now Tyler can’t stop talking about his surprise birthday visit.

Melissa hopes this kind act, will spread to officers throughout the country.

“He knows they’re there to help. That’s what we need from police officers across the country,” Melissa said.

Melissa says the officers have always treated her son with respect, and their impact on him is life-long.

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