Heroes honored after saving autistic teen missing in woods


On a cold night in December, a family traveling from New York, stopped in Bristol to pick up a few things from Wal-Mart.

The mother left her son in the car, but after an argument with his siblings, the young boy ran off in the woods.

After a quick search, authorities were notified, but it wasn't until four unlikely heroes showed up that the boy was found.

It was desperate situation, on a freezing cold night wind chill in the low 20's, a 15 year old autistic boy was lost in the woods and local police and rescue had searched for hours to no avail.

Then four angels arrived, riding ATV's

"The mud holes was frozen, the side was sinking, we had to dodge the mudholes," Bobby Richards, with the Mountain Trail Riders Association said.

Bobby Richards was one of four members of the Mountain Trail Riders Association that found the young boy and saved him from the cold.

"Jermey had a spotlight, and he just appeared out of nowhere," Richards said.

For their heroic efforts, the Bristol, Tennessee Police force along with city council presented the team with plaques.

"It's not every day you see something like that---something that has a positive outcome and they need to be recognized," Captain Charlie Thomas said.

"It's good to be honored but the most important thing is the kid is okay. Really it was the lord that saved that kid," Richards said.

The trail riders have long fought the reputation as a group that abuses the land and promotes erosion with their trails, but that night it was their knowledge of the terrain that saved the teen.

The Mountain Trail Riders Association is celebrating its tenth year and they hope their organization can grow and be a good friend to the community.

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