Painesville officers recognized for heroic rescue of 4-year-old found floating in pond; ‘Made excellent decisions under pressure’

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WARNING: Some may find the following story and video disturbing.

PAINESVILLE, Ohio (WJW) — A courageous rescue over the weekend caught on police dashcam has put three Painesville policemen in the spotlight for their rescue of a four-year-old boy.

“I think this community and I couldn’t be more proud of our officers,” said Police Chief Dan Waterman of Sgt. Matthew Tycast, Officer Daniel Thompson and Officer Chad Balausky.

“They responded quickly, they worked excellently, made excellent decisions under pressure and they didn’t hesitate for a moment to risk their own lives to save that child.”

Waterman says just before 8 in the morning on Sunday, officers were called to a house on Erie St. where the boy’s grandmother said he had been missing for about 20 minutes.

He says they started to get 9-1-1 calls from the nearby recreation park police who believe the boy left a family member’s house through a rear sliding door and entered the park through a closed gate.

“A couple of the callers feel that they are possibly seeing a body floating in the water,” said Waterman.

A passerby showed the officers where he had seen the boy surrounded by debris in the pond.

Two of the officers started to see air bubbles and a silhouette of a small person roughly 20-feet off the bank. “Officer Thompson was directed and he immediately went in. Full gear and all.”

Tycast quickly followed to help and Balausky handled the rescue rope. “The officers tell me when they rescued the child they were in chest-deep water and these officers are about 6 feet tall, so it’s pretty high water,” said Waterman.

Once out, the boy was not breathing and Waterman says both officers did a mouth sweep and administered CPR in those critical moments.

“There was debris in the child’s mouth and officer Thompson began chest compressions. After a number of chest compressions, they had a cough and things started to expel, water started to expel out of the child’s mouth.”

The boy was taken to the hospital, and to everyone’s relief, is on the mend. “We hear he’s doing pretty well and certainly he’s in our prayers and we hope he continues to recover but so far so good and it really looks like this is a tragedy averted.”

Waterman says this is the first time they have had to rescue someone from this pond in recent history.

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