Recently released Henry Ricketts had only been out of prison for two weeks when he dived into a septic tank to rescue a little girl. Another bystander also jumped into a septic tank to save the 2-year-old girl in Maricopa, Arizona.
The toddler had accidentally fallen through a damaged lid of the septic tank when Ricketts, prompted by the mom’s screams, dived in head-first.
Despite his efforts, Ricketts couldn’t immediately locate the girl. He was forced to surface after inadvertently inhaling some of the water.
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“They pulled him back up, but they couldn’t find her,” bystander Barbara Fowler told CBS 5, describing the panicked scene. “Immediately after that, another gentleman went in head-first, and they had a guy on either side holding each of his feet and dropped him down in there and he dug around and came up with that baby, by its arm.”
By that point, the girl had been submerged in the septic tank for several minutes and was no longer breathing, reports ABC15, which cites witnesses saying her face had turned blue.
Fortunately, another bystander stepped forward and started administering CPR, reviving the child by the time emergency responders arrived on scene. The girl has since been taken to a local hospital, where she is recovering.
“I would have done it for anybody,” Ricketts told ABC15. “I have a son, too.”
The septic tank, meanwhile, has been roped off while investigators decide whether or not to file criminal charges against the tank’s owner, a separate CBS 5 report notes.
In early 2013, a group of inmates saved three boys from drowning in a freezing creek in southwest Washington. The boys’ canoe had capsized in a fast current, prompting the prisoners, who had been working nearby, to jump in and rescue them.
“Just cause we’re incarcerated, doesn’t mean we’re bad people,” Jon Fowler, one of the inmates, said at the time. “We made some bad choices in our lives, but we’re still, we’re just like everybody else. We’re just paying our debt for what we did wrong.”