CLEVELAND — A life-saving moment was caught on camera in Cleveland when a two-year-old boy fell into a swimming pool.
A responding officer helped save the child and the June 17 rescue was recorded on his department-issued body camera. On Tuesday, FOX 8 News was the first to obtain the video from the body cam that shows the rescue from the patrolman’s perspective.
“Honestly, I’ve been a police officer for eight years,” said Patrolman Ismael Quintana. “I’ve seen some pretty serious stuff – living in the city – being a police officer in the city – that’s probably been the only time that I’ve ever been scared, ever been scared.”
He was found unconscious in the water when he managed to sneak to the backyard while his aunt, Cynthia Conner, was in the front yard talking with officers who responded for a different incident, when a passing vehicle damaged her fence.
Drances was found in the pool by a relative who called for help.
“He was purple. He was lifeless,” said his aunt, Cynthia. “When they picked him up – he had no, nothing. He was, like shaking; his lips were shaking. It’s something I’m never gonna forget, like, sometimes I just wake up thinking about it.”
The officers already on the scene called for backup. Fellow patrolman, and father of a two-year-old child himself, Ismael Quintana responded.
“At first, I was thinking I wasn’t going to go because I was kinda far away, but I ended up hitting the lights and sirens and going there,” said Officer Quintana. He saw Drances unconscious on the driveway when he arrived at the scene.
“He just went in there,” said Cynthia. “He took control. He said, I’ll do the compressions and you breath, then we did a teamwork and that’s when EMS showed up. Just talking about it gives me goose bumps.”
The body cam video shows the officer and child’s aunt working together, giving chest compressions and breathing for Drances who finally regained consciousness.
It was caught on camera by one of 200 body cams being tested in a pilot program in Cleveland. The cameras are activated when the officers press ‘record’ and the department plans to buy as many as 1,500 for the force.
“I personally like my body camera. I’ve used it a couple of times and I think it’s a good tool,” said Officer Quintana.
It’s hard for Cynthia to watch the video because she knows it could’ve had a different ending if her hero didn’t show up at the last minute. She said, “What if he wasn’t here? You know, if it wasn’t for you, what if I couldn’t have did it all by myself?”
Drances was out of the hospital in a few days.
Officer Quintana said he was just doing his job but he has been nominated for an award and will likely receive a distinguished service medal.