Police officers often don’t know how their days will unfold when they put on their uniforms at the beginning of each shift.
For one Kansas police officer, the heroic moment when he jumped into a pond to save a child with autism was caught on the video taken from hid body camera.
Aaron Bulmer, an officer with the Topeka Police Department, was patrolling for crime suspects on Sunday near the Central Park Community Center when he noticed the boy, Elijah, walking toward the edge of the water, the department said on Facebook.
After Bulmer exited his squad car to talk to the boy, he saw him fall into the pond.
“Hey!” Bulmer is heard in the video calling out to Elijah as he runs toward him. Without hesitation, Bulmer then jumps into after Elijah. He grabs the child, who can be heard gasping for air.
Elijah’s father, who was out looking for him, then is seen in the footage grabbing him from Bulmer, who was still in the pond.
“I saw a small hand flailing, saw him gasping for air, and saw his face in the water and without any reaction I just jumped in,” Bulmer recalled.
Bulmer then radioed dispatchers to call 911 for help.
In a press conference Wednesday, Elijah’s mother, Jaclyn Hamby, said she was thankful that Bulmer happened to spot Elijah
“I don’t think enough words, actions or anything would possibly be able to describe how thankful or grateful we are that he was in that place at that time,” she said.
Hamby said Elijah’s father had left their son alone at home momentarily while he used the bathroom and thought all of the doors were locked. Hamby was at work at the time.
Bulmer, a father himself, said he didn’t blame Elijah’s parents for the accident.
“Many times coming home from work, I’m exhausted after a long day and I could fall asleep on the couch and my young one could unlatch the door and get outside so that scares me,” he said. “But at the same time I understand that we are human and make mistakes.”
Elijah has been doing fine since the near-drowning incident and didn’t even miss a day of school this week, Hamby said.
Bulmer will always be there for Elijah, he said.
“I would tell him that he could be my friend for life. I would definitely, if he needed anything, I would be there for him.”
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