GARFIELD HEIGHTS (WJW) – Garfield Heights police video released to the FOX 8 I-Team shows how officers used a drone to help find a missing teen who was injured and needed help.
According to officers, the teen ran into a wooded area off Broadway late Thursday afternoon. The teen was running away from a domestic situation and was not in any trouble.
“The juvenile’s sister called police to say he told her he fell and hit his head on a tree,” said Garfield Heights Deputy Chief Dale Merchant. “He told his sister he was sick, so we wanted to find him right away to get him help.”
Police were having trouble finding him in the heavily wooded area, so officer Pat Hace quickly got a drone in the air.
“It was 31 degrees that day,” Hace said. “The sun was setting and it was getting dark quick.”
About 10 minutes after the drone was in the air, officers on the ground found the teen.
The officer who found him told the teen he was there to help him. A few seconds later the teen collapsed, and the officer caught him. Police helped walk the teen to a waiting ambulance and the officer draped his jacked on the boy to help keep him warm.
The teen was taken to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
“The officers did a great job,” Merchant said. “I believe they helped save his life.”
Garfield Heights police officers have been using drones for about two years. During that time, they have found several victims, and criminals. They have also used the drones to assist other departments.
“I am just glad that we were able to help somebody who really needed it,” Hace said. “And the end result couldn’t be any better.”