Jeffersonville Police officer rescues 4-year-old from wastewater - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Jeffersonville Police officer rescues 4-year-old from wastewater treatment pool

Posted: Updated: Mar 11, 2015 09:19 PM
Surveillance footage shows officers running into the wastewater treatment facility when they heard the boy. Surveillance footage shows officers running into the wastewater treatment facility when they heard the boy.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Jeffersonville Police officer made an incredible rescue after a young autistic boy disappeared last weekend and turned up in a wastewater treatment pool.

The four-year-old boy and his mother were at a playground at Spring Hill Elementary School when the mother lost track of the boy late Sunday afternoon. Officers started looking for him, and one officer checked a nearby wastewater treatment plant.

Patrolman Joshua Leveronne isn't sure what led him to look for the missing boy at Jeffersonville's wastewater treatment facility. 

"I'm a firm believer in divine intervention," said Leveronne on the subject.

He noticed a gap in the gate -- which has since been fixed -- and he said he figured a four-year-old boy could fit through it. 

That is exactly what happened. Surveillance video shows the boy squeezing through the gap and wandering into the complex.

Leveronne climbed the fence and started scanning the area. He heard whimpering and spotted the boy inside a clarifier filled with sewage. 

"I just called in on the radio that I located him and took off running after him. So I just ran down the walkway there and started taking off gear my jacket, duty belt, my vest, thinking I was going to have to go in after him," he explained.

The boy was holding on to something inside the pool. 

"I was able to lay down on the deck and he reached out to me and I pulled him up. I just grabbed him, bear hugged him wrapped him in my jacket and took off running," he said. 

Leveronne didn't blink. "Never, never. It was just instinct, you know?"

The boy doesn't speak, but Leveronne said he could feel the boy's fear. 

"He wouldn't let go of me," he said. "When we were waiting for the ambulance he just was hugging me, it was definitely the most rewarding day of my career."

Leveronne later learned the clarifier is 18 feet deep and was about 50 degrees Sunday. 

"I wouldn't hesitate, if it happened again tomorrow I'd do the same thing," he said.

Officers say the boy was released from the hospital the night of the incident. We got in touch with the boy's mother who did not want to go on camera. We are helping her get in touch with the officer, as she wanted to give him an update on her son.

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