Video: Florida deputy pulls missing 81-year-old man from pond

The heart-wrenching moment of the man's rescue was caught on the deputy’s body camera

By Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer

ORLANDO, Fla. — A missing 81-year-old man was found lying in a Florida retention pond, and the heart-wrenching moment of his rescue was caught on a deputy’s body camera.

It happened around 4:40 p.m. on July 1 in Orange County, as Deputy Steven Jones searched for a man who “left his residence without his medication,” according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. The county is home to Orlando.

Video shows Jones was searching the banks of a murky retention pond when he spotted a body on its side in the water. As the deputy neared, he reported seeing movement.

“Hey, buddy. Come on, buddy,” Jones says, grabbing the disoriented man by one arm and pulling him to shore.

The deputy slips and falls in the mud, but continues pulling the mumbling man with both hands.

Once ashore, the deputy holds the man’s hands and reassures him help is coming.

“You’re going to be fine, buddy,” the deputy says. ”You’re going to be okay. ... I’m glad we found you, man. Thank goodness.”

The man was taken to a hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries. He is expected to recover, officials said. Investigators did not say how long he might have been in the water.

Jones’ body cam video of the rescue has gotten tens of thousands of views, reactions and comments on social media and YouTube. This includes people who consider his actions to be heroic.

He joined the sheriff’s office in 2017 and serves as a school resource officer, officials said.

“His compassion in that moment, the tenderness he used with this ... man, brought me to tears. ... A wonderful display of humanity at its finest!” Mo Cognito wrote on Facebook.

“This is what a true hero looks like,” Pam Davis Marshall posted.

“You saved not only this man, but also his whole family from grieving a lost loved one,” Sue Robinson said.

©2022 The Charlotte Observer. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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