US cop's bodycam captures rescue of drowning autistic boy

A United States police officer has been hailed as a hero after his bodycam captured footage of him jumping into a pond to save the life of an autistic boy.

Kansas City Officer Aaron Bulmer had been called to a local park for a different incident on Sunday morning (local time) when he noticed a small child running towards the pond.

He says "intuition or God's calling" told him he needed to get out of his car to take a better look.

And it was just as well he did, because the four-year-old boy he'd seen running towards the water had now fallen face-down into it and was near drowning.

"I got closer to the pond and then I saw a small hand flailing," he said at a press conference on Wednesday.

"I saw him gasping for air, heard him gasping for air. I saw his face in the water and without any reaction I just jumped in. It's not anything I thought about - something just told me I needed to do this."

The video, which was posted to social media, shows Officer Bulmer wrapping the crying young boy in his arms and pulling him from the pond, before urging passers-by to call an ambulance.

The autistic boy, called Elijah, was being looked after by his father at their family home, which is next to park. He had reportedly escaped while his father was in the bathroom.

Elijah's mother spoke at the news conference, and said her son was unlikely to be aware how close he came to death and had continued his life as normal, returning to school the following day.

"I'm very grateful that everything turned out the way that it did, because things could have been way worse," she said.

"I don't think enough words, actions or anything would possibly be able to describe how thankful or grateful that we are that [Officer Bulmer] was in that place at that time."