Community helps 12-year-old after falling through iced-over Dundee pond

A 12-year-old boy fell through an iced over pond in Monroe County Tuesday morning.

The incident took place around 8:45 a.m., outside a Cabela's store in Dundee. 

Life saver rings can be found all along the banks of the pond – but unless someone is there to hear the cries for help and respond, they are useless. 

Luckily, Jonathan Garza was unloading his semi truck near the pond when the boy fell through and began shouting for help – struggling to keep afloat in 20 feet of freezing-cold water.

"(I) heard someone screaming, I looked around… and saw him in the middle of the pond," Garza said. "I said ‘I’m on the phone with 911, don’t you worry, help is on the way.’"

Police were on scene within three minutes. 

Officer Joe Schumaker grabbed personal flotation equipment and tried to get to the boy, but fell through the ice as well. However, he continued to wade out to the boy.

That's when two Dundee men, Paxton Barnes and Garrett Desbrough, saw the chaos and began assisting.

"I looked out my window and saw a kid in the pond and then two cops," Desbrough said. 

"Right place at the right time for sure," Barnes added.


Coast Guard in Detroit assists in rescuing 13 people stranded on ice sheets

As the layers of ice from the last couple of weeks begin to melt into slush, the Coast Guard is urging people to take precaution around iced-over bodies of water.

Paxton and Desbrough helped Dundee firefighters use a rope to pull the boy and Schumaker to shore, safely.

"We actually grabbed the rope and pulled the kid up, but he kept falling down on the ice," Barnes said. "(We) grabbed his arms and pulled him and handed him to the fire fighter and police officer."

Schumaker was in the water for about "three minutes," Garza said. "His body completely went stiff to the point where he couldn’t help himself get up." 

The boy was treated by first responders at the scene and was then transported to Toledo Hospital for additional treatment. 

"He was in such shock he didn’t even know his parents' number," Garza said.

As for Schumaker, he was treated on scene and returned to duty.  

"He did not hesitate to go get that young man out of the water as if he was one of his own," Garza said.

Police praised both the 911 caller and the men who helped rescue the boy.

"Always help out. If you see someone in need of help, just do it," Desbrough said. "Don’t second guess yourself."