Two sheriff’s deputies in Florida pulled off a daring rescue after finding a nonverbal four-year-old autistic boy stuck in a pond.
Around 10.30am on Tuesday morning, deputies from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) responded to reports of a child in trouble in the unincorporated community of Thonotosassa, Florida.
The call was placed by a concerned neighbor, who saw the small child run across the street and venture into a swampy pond just off the road.
‘After thoroughly looking through the thick shrubs at the edge of the pond they located the boy, who was being kept afloat by cattails,’ the sheriff’s office said.
Deputies in Hillsborough County, Florida work together to rescue the nonverbal child (Picture: Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office/SWNS)
Body-worn camera footage recorded from the two deputies captured the moment the child, crying wordlessly for help, was pulled out of the swamp and brought back to dry land.
‘I just kept sinking and sinking, and I just kept thinking: “I don’t know how deep this is going to get,”‘ one deputy said after the rescue.
‘I could barely hold him because we were sinking so deep,’ her partner responded. ‘It would have been a bad day.’
The child was only identified as a 4-year-old with autism. After the rescue, deputies discovered that the he was also nonverbal.
The HCSO called the deputies actions ‘heroic.’
‘I shudder to think of the outcome if not for the tenacity and efforts of these deputies,’ Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a news release. ‘We will now work with the Department of Children and Families to determine if negligence played a role in this young boy’s disappearance.’
The investigation remains ongoing.
Earlier this year, a 3-year-old child with autism was dramatically pulled from train tracks in New York just moments before an oncoming train passed by.
The boy was reunited with his family later the same day.
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