PORT ANGELES — A missing Poulsbo man who mistakenly took a bus from Chehalis to Port Angeles is safe at home with his mother, Deputy Police Chief Jason Viada said.
Stephan Christian Cade Tuttle, who turned 24 Thursday, was reported missing Tuesday by his mother, who said he took the wrong bus and wound up in Port Angeles, where he does not know anyone. Viada reported he was home safe on Friday.
He was supposed to return last Saturday to Kitsap County.
His last contact was with his aunt Saturday, according to a police report obtained Friday by Peninsula Daily News.
Tuttle is described in the report as “a vulnerable adult.”
He has high-functioning autism and a brain injury, does not drive, and usually has a caregiver with him but no restrictions where he can travel, according to the report.
According to a federal lawsuit that he filed against Central Kitsap School District in July 2017, he has Asperger’s Syndrome that severely affects his ability to communicate, colitis that causes intestinal bleeding, Post-Traumatic Stress disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and a brain injury he suffered in 2012 that resulted in vision and speech impairments.
“Of course, we are very relieved that Stephan is back safe with is mother,” Viada said this morning.
“He made it to a ferry dock, presumably a Washington state ferry dock.
“I don’t know how he made it there.
“It’s likely that he was able to access public transportation that took him to the ferry dock.”
Port Angeles police officers on Thursday looked for Tuttle and clues to his whereabouts at the Salvation Army office on Peabody Street, a drug treatment center and health and social service providers, Viada said.
Viada said he did not have more information on where Tuttle was between Saturday and Wednesday, how or when he was found or how he made it home.
Tuttle’s mother did not return a call for comment this morning.
High-functioning autism is an informal medical term used to describe people on the autism spectrum “who can speak, read, write and handle basic life skills like eating and getting dressed,” according to https://www.webmd.com/.
“Like all people on the autism spectrum, people who are high functioning have a hard time with social interaction and communication. They don’t naturally read social cues and might find it difficult to make friends,” according to the website.
Tuttle filed a lawsuit July 21, 2017 in federal District Court in Seattle against Central Kitsap School District, where he was a student.
Tuttle alleged the district did not provide him with adequate services when he was a student there under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, state law against discrimination and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
He is seeking $100,000 in compensatory damages, $75,000 in monetary damages for emotional distress and loss of dignity and attorney fees.
A jury trial is set for Dec. 3.
Port Angeles police initially reported that Tuttle was reported missing Wednesday, that his last contact was with his mother, and that his first name was Stephen.
Peninsula Daily News Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at email@example.com.