Cop Calms an Autistic, Potentially Suicidal Teen in Viral Photo

Photo captures a tender moment between the boy and police officer.

— -- A photo of a police officer in North Carolina, sitting on the ground and soothing an autistic and potentially suicidal teenager has sparked wide appreciation on the internet.

The photo, posted by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department last Friday, has already gained more than 640,000 likes and over 250,000 shares.

Officer Tim Purdy responded to a call about an 18-year-old autistic boy who had left school grounds and was potentially suicidal, Rob Tufano, a spokesperson for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department told ABC News.

Officer Purdy sat with the high school senior and talked through his feelings for 15 to 20 minutes. "He even got him laughing, and got him back with his mom and with school officials," Tufano said.