Kokomo police pull 79-year-old man from freezing waters

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KOKOMO, Ind. -- A 79-year-old Kokomo man is recovering in the hospital after being pulled from a freezing creek.

Around 2 o’clock Tuesday morning, police officers responded to the Waters Edge subdivision.

A woman called police after her husband went out to look for their dog.  She became worried when he didn’t return home.

Officers along with a K-9 tracked the victim to a nearby creek.

“He had come to the conclusion that he was going to die right there in that creek bed,” said Sara Campbell, the victim’s daughter.

The darkness, freezing temperatures, and drifting snow created a dangerous situation. Campbell says her father slipped down an icy, snow-covered embankment and into the creek.  Police believe he was stuck in the freezing cold creek for up to an hour.

“The subject at the time we found him was suffering from hypothermia, so it was imperative that we hurry up and get him out and get his as warm as possible,” said Major Brian Seldon with the Kokomo Police Department.

After officers pulled the victim from the creek, he was rushed to the hospital.  Later, the officers learned they shared a special connection with the man.

“He himself is a retired police officer,” said Campbell.

Campbell’s father spent more than two decades with the Kokomo Police Department, the same department that responded to his rescue.

“They were able to help one of their own,” said Campbell.

Officers arrived just in time.

“We were just told by the doctors a little bit ago if he had not been found within one minute, he would’ve been gone,” said Campbell.

Campbell told FOX59 her father didn’t want his name released, but she wanted to talk to make sure the officers realize their bravery is the reason her father gets another birthday.

“He will be 80 in eight days, so it would’ve been a totally different celebration that we would’ve be having,” said Campbell.

The almost 80-year-old is getting better and is in good spirits. He’s even been able to talk with some of the officers who saved him.

“Thank you for being there and for what you guys do, "Campbell said. "They all risked their lives going into the water and getting him out of the water."

Unfortunately, the victim’s dog didn’t survive. Police are reminding everyone to be extra cautious in these freezing temperatures. Always call first responders before putting yourself in a dangerous situation.

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