A Toledo police officer and a 17-year-old teenage boy are recovering after falling through the ice in a north Toledo, Ohio, pond on Jan. 18.
Seventeen-year-old David Lewis was walking on a pond with his 11-year-old brother when he fell through.
The 11-year-old, Andres Brendez, ran up the hill, yelling for help, and a woman outside getting her mail called 911.
Toledo officers Brian O’Connell, Gary Bunting, and Thomas Killen were the first to arrive on the scene.
With first responders still on the way, the officers decided to attempt to rescue the terrified teen.
“They’re not going to wait for that 17-year-old to go under and disappear under the ice,” Lt. Kevan Toney told The Toledo Blade.
One officer is being treated for exposure & two others are warming up after falling through the ice in a North Toledo pond. Officers were working to save a teenager that fell in. Thankfully, all will recover. Nice work @ToledoFire & the 11 yr old that ran for help! pic.twitter.com/EztwkPIe9Q
— Toledo Police (@ToledoPolice) January 18, 2019
O’Connell was the first to walk onto the ice, attempting to throw a rescue rope to the teen.
“To see the look on this little boy’s face. He was just screaming, help me, help me,” O’Connell said.
But O’Connell’s weight was too much for the ice, and he fell in.
“Once I heard the ice crack, I knew — and when that hole opened up, it was quite refreshing,” O’Connell told WTVG.
Toledo police released bodycam footage of the dramatic rescue showed O’Connell falling through the ice while the teen remained trapped.
Killen reached out to grab O’Connell’s hand and heave him out of the freezing ice, but then Killen fell in as well.
At one point, O’Connell went completely underwater, and Bunting and Killen were up to their chests in the pond, Lt. Toney said.
With the help of the Toledo Fire Department, the three officers and the teenage Lewis made it safely to shore.
“His strength was shot,” O’Connell said of Lewis.
“How he managed to hold onto that rope to get out, to have them pull him out is beyond me. Thank God it happened that way.”
Lewis and O’Connell were taken to the hospital for possible hypothermia and, according to Toledo police, all are expected to make a full recovery.
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