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Off-duty Wash. LEOs save young boy swept downriver

Detective Gilcrist will be receiving his agency’s Life Saving Award

By Suzie Ziegler

KENT, Wash. – A Washington detective will be receiving an award after he and a sheriff’s deputy worked together to save a child from drowning.

According to the Kent Police Department, the two law enforcement officers were vacationing Sunday near the Wenatchee River when they saw a child “floating down the river by himself and in a panic.”

Detective Gilcrist and Deputy Johnson immediately jumped into the water without hesitation, the agency said. The boy, who looked to be about 5 years old, was carried swiftly downriver in the frigid water. The officers fought the current and were able to pull the child safely to shore, Kent Police said.

A witness gave police a detailed account of the events, saying the officers calmed the panicking child in the middle of the river before swimming to the bank.

“The river was moving at such a swift pace,” the witness said. “I have no doubt that without decisive action, quick thinking, and lack of hesitation these two men showed, while others stood by and watched, the child would have been swept away and ultimately drowned.”

In recognition for his work, Gilcrist will be receiving his agency’s Life Saving Award, police said. After he finishes his vacation, that is.