Longwood officers save child with autism from drowning, police say

Young boy was ‘struggling to stay above water’ when officers jumped into action, officers say

Lieutenant Bryant, Sergeant Ryan and Officer Arciola (Longwood Police Department)

LONGWOOD, Fla. – Longwood officers sprang into action Monday evening to save a boy with autism stuck in the middle of a retention pond, according to the department.

Police said the boy was in the middle of the pond near 1060 W. State Road 464, “struggling to stay above water.”

[TRENDING: WATCH: Florida woman records giant alligator’s mating call in Apopka | ‘He didn’t eat for 4 days:’ Florida boy recovering from venomous snake bite | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

Two officers swam into the pond to grab the boy, bringing him close enough to the shoreline for a third officer to pull him up, the department said.

Officers said they were able to calm the boy and dry him off as they waited for the Longwood Fire Department to arrive and check his condition.

Longwood police Chief David Dowda shared a letter of commendation received from Lt. Adam Bryant, one of the three who rescued the child, regarding the actions of the officers.

“I have no doubt that (officers’) heroic actions saved the life of this child,” Bryant said in a Facebook post. “I feel humbled and proud to get to witness both of them put their selflessness on display and save the life of a child.”

About the Author:

Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.