Published: Mar 03, 2011 11:46 PM EST
Updated: Mar 03, 2011 8:46 PM EST

CAPE CORAL- Cape Coral Police Officers responded to a report of a missing 6-year-old autistic child Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m.

Mason Bateman had wandered away from his residence and his family could not locate him.

Fearing the worst, Bateman's parents called 911.

Police Officers with the 4th Platoon, K9 Units, Police Aviation as well as EMS and Fire personnel searched the neighborhood near SE 22nd Place to locate the child.

The search was complicated by two factors: It was beginning to get dark and second, as a result of the child’s condition he likes to hide from people in uniform.

Approximately 45 minutes later, Bateman was found in a canal by Officer Matthew Mills.

"Mason was in chin-deep water," Officer Mills said. "I just ripped off my gun belt reap quick and was the first one in the water." 

Bateman was taken to Health Park Hospital as a precaution and is expected to be fine.