23-year-old bystander rescues 2 kids from icy pond; deputies bring 3rd child back to life with CPR

Local News

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office says three children survived after falling through an icy pond on Sunday.

Four juvenile relatives were playing on the ice, according to the sheriff’s office, when three of them fell through a pond located at The Addison at Cherry Creek apartments at 9100 E. Florida Ave around 3:24 p.m.

That’s when a bystander, identified as 23-year-old Dusti Talavera, jumped into the pond and pulled a 4-year-old girl and 11-year-old boy out of the water.

“Just looking out my window saw a couple kids walking on the ice pond, a few seconds later, I just saw them fall in,” Talavera said. “Before I even realized it, I was out there on the middle of the pond pulling two kids out. That’s when I fell in.”

She tried to pull the third child, a 6-year-old girl out but struggled to do so, the sheriff’s office said. That’s when a 16-year-old boy, a cousin of the victim, arrived and jumped into the pond and helped Talavera.

“I tried to hold her head up, I tried to hold my head up, the pond was really deep. A young man threw us a rope. He pulled us out,” Talavera said.  

Deputies said Talavera told them, “she wasn’t concerned for her safety because they were babies and they needed help.”

The 6-year-old was not breathing, was not conscious, and had no pulse, the sheriff’s office said. At that time, deputies arrived on the scene. Deputy David Rodriguez removed her coat and immediately began chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Also assisting in life-saving CPR were Deputy Blaine Moulton and Deputy Justin Dillard. This continued until South Metro Fire Rescue arrived at took over life-saving measures, all according to the sheriff’s office.

“We arrived on scene with a chaotic crowd,”  Dillard said. “We found a 6-year-old girl not conscious, not breathing.”

The 6-year-old was taken to Children’s Hospital breathing and with a pulse. She is listed in stable condition at this time, the sheriff’s office said.

“We’re all fathers, we all have young kids. It’s hard to see a 6-year-old girl whose face is blue with her eyes open, not responding, not breathing,” Moulton said. “I have kids of my own. I have an 8-year-old. The whole time I was there, I didn’t want somebody to lose their daughter. I wanted to make sure she was able to pull through this.”

Court Sutton with SMFR said, “We were back at the fire station, talking about how brave she was, how great the officers did … and gosh. I hope if this happened to one of mine, somebody like her (Talavera) was close by.” 

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