Hero Sergeant Dives into Pond to Save Woman

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A quick-thinking off duty police sergeant is being credited with saving the life of a woman who drove her car into a pond in south suburban Phoenix. (Published Friday, Apr 1, 2011)

    A quick-thinking off duty police sergeant is being credited with saving the life of a woman who drove her car into a pond of cold, muddy water in south suburban Phoenix.

    "I looked at the car.  It was submerged.  I took off my clothes and just jumped in there," said Ricardo Frausto.

    He said he tried unsuccessfully to open the doors of the car and ultimately used a police baton to smash in the rear window.

    "The Phoenix Police Department trained me very well and gave me that extra confidence, you know, to do what I have to do," he said. 

    The village's police chief, Mel Davis, said he's proud that Frausto is on his team. 

    Davis said the sergeant was in the eight to 10 feet of water for about five minutes before emergency personnel from surrounding agencies arrived on the scene and ultimately rescued the woman.  She was taken to Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey.

    A complete search of the pond was done and was determined that 87-year-old Helen Wallace was the only one in the car, Davis said. 

    He said Wallace lost control of the vehicle, drove through a fence and into the water. 

    Frausto didn't come out of the ordeal unscathed.

    "There's cuts and bruises throughout his entire body, even the bottoms of his feet is cut, so he has cuts all over his body from breaking glass trying to get the victim out of the vehicle," said Davis.