13-year-old boy rescued from frigid water by Brockton police officers, US
Brockton police officers rescued a 13-year-old boy who fell into water in the woods on the far west side of the city near the Stoughton and Easton lines on Tuesday, 3 December 2019. Police said they received a call at 14h41 on Tuesday from a man who said his son had disappeared in the woods behind their home on Goldfinch Drive in Brockton in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, US. The wooded area is also adjacent to the Arborway development in Easton. Officers were dispatched to the area to begin the search and contacted the Brockton Fire Department and the Easton Police Department for mutual aid. A K-9 officer and his dog were able to track the boy deep into the woods near a body of water but police were unable to locate the boy.
Officials said two Brockton police officers and two officers from Easton got into the water and eventually found the teenager stuck in icy, muddy water that was up to his chest. Patrol officers carefully pulled him out of the water and carried him to safety.
Brockton Fire Captain, Shawn Kerr, told media that fire fighters arrived with two engines, a ladder and a boat but by the time they got there, police had gotten the boy out of the water. “Upon arrival, police had already located the individual and brought him back out,” Kerr said. “They were the ones who went in the water. We just assisted the police, getting him out of the woods.”
When they found the 13-year-old stuck in the muddy, icy water in the woods on the border of Brockton and Easton, the police officers said the boy told them that he couldn’t feel or move his legs.
The boy suffered from hypothermia while stuck in the freezing cold water for more than two and a half hours on Tuesday, said rookie Brockton police officer Sandy Fonseca, an Army veteran who joined the force just two months ago. For Fonseca, the search and rescue work with fellow police officers from Brockton and Easton wasn’t exactly a trial by fire, but more like a trial by snow, ice and freezing cold water. She and the three other police officers waded waste-deep into frigid pond water to get the boy out. “It took the air right out of me,” said Fonseca, describing the plunge into the water that she and three other officers made, in an effort to rescue the 13-year-old. “I’m not going to lie. It was really cold.”
Fonseca, Brockton police officer William Stafford, Easton police officer Christopher Aker and Easton police officer Matt Badoud, all military veterans, were being credited for their efforts to trek into the woods, find the 13-year-old and get him out to safety.
“If he was out there throughout the night, there’s no way he would survive,” said Stafford, a longtime Brockton police officer and Air Force veteran.
Stafford said “it was definitely a chore” to get the boy out of the woods, describing the way the four police officers carried him out through the mud and brush. Stafford said adrenaline kicked in and the Brockton police officer also thought about his own three children when trying to make the rescue. Stafford said the collaboration between all the officers from the two departments made the rescue a success. “It was definitely a chore to get him,” Stafford said. “You think of it as your own kid, but even if it wasn’t, it’s a child. We want to make sure he was safe.”
Police said the 13-year-old was transported by ambulance to Good Samaritan Medical Centre for treatment and was later taken to Boston Children's Hospital for further evaluation and testing. The victim's father told police that his son is doing OK and that he wanted to thank all the first responders who helped rescue his son.
Sources: The Enterprise, WCVB, Wicked Local Easton