Officer Ernesto Fernandez knew only that he had to save a life and worry about the rest later as he jumped into a Miami river to save a drowning child.
The ‘rest’ in this case was the 10-year-old boy’s Autism condition, and how it would affect the rescue attempt.
It wasn’t much of a concern to Fernandez, whose own son is on the Autism spectrum. To the contrary, the devoted husband and father was all the more committed to ensuring the accident didn’t end in tragedy.
Bodycam footage captured of the July rescue shows a fellow officer arriving in time to help Fernandez safely get the child into the car seat of the police cruiser, while the man’s black uniform was soaked through from his heroics.
On August 2nd, Officer Fernandez was honored in a ceremony held by the Friendship Circle Miami, an organization that provides friendship and acceptance to individuals with special needs.
“I know you jumped out of your car because you knew what that child really is,” said Rabbi Yossi Harling of Friendship Circle Miami, in a speech.
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“One of the greatest fears that parents have raising a child on the spectrum—and if you’re raising a child you know exactly what I’m talking about—is your child will be somewhere, and the person won’t understand their action,” said Harling.
“You look at an incidence [sic] like this, and the power that it has not only to those who are involved, but to the community at large, it is an incredible, incredible touching moment,” said Chief of Police Manuel Morales.
WATCH the full bodycam footage below from the Miami Herald…
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