12 year-old boy honored by Thornton City Council, police after saving toddler from drowning

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THORNTON, Colo. -- Jeremiah Ruggiero was honored by the Thornton City Council along with the city's police and fire chiefs after saving a toddler from drowning at a park.

Ruggiero was fishing with his family at Carpenter Park last month when he saw a toddler run into the lake.

“He was falling under the water and he was fully submerged,” Ruggiero said.

Although Ruggiero is not a great swimmer, he didn’t hesitate and jumped in.

“He did not think twice,” his mother, Jessica Ruggiero, said. “Just chucked both shoes, his phone and jumped right into the water.”

“Seeing a kid right before my eyes drowning, I didn’t want him to get hurt or die or anything,” Jeremiah Ruggiero said.

It wasn’t easy, but Ruggiero was able to pull the young boy safely to shore.

“I was falling under the water with him,” he said. “I sort of just picked him up put him on my shoulders and tried swimming back but since I had weight on me it was hard swimming with the kid.”

Paramedics rushed the toddler to the hospital and Ruggiero's heroics saved the young boy’s life.

Ruggiero was presented with the community heroism award at this week’s city council meeting.

“It makes me feel good,” he said.

“He’s proud, very proud and he should be,” his mother added.

With summer on the horizon, authorities are reminding people to be extra cautious with children around water.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds people to learn life-saving skills, such as CPR, fence off swimming areas, wear life jackets and be on the lookout.

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