Southern tier teenager hailed as hero

Published: July 14, 2008 | 7201st good news item since 2003

A southern tier teenager is being hailed as a hero after pulling a two-year-old out of Chautauqua Lake.

A toddler’s life hinged on the efforts of 14-year-old Josh Sweatman.

Josh Sweatman said, “I gotta get him out before his dies.”

“When I got him out, he was choking up all the water he swallowed.”

Last Sunday, police say a twelve-year-old was pushing his two-year-old cousin around in a stroller at Celeron Park in The Town of Ellicott.

When the twelve-year-old got too close to the edge of the Chautauqua Lake, the two-year-old went under.

Josh Sweatman dove into action.

“I put down my stuff and ran over the tires from the stroller was sticking up so I grabbed it and I pulled him out.”

Josh’s father says he and his son were out fishing that day.

“I was fishing out at the Pier and I heard a little boy calling for help, and Josh my son was running over to the short dock where they were and I see him pull a stroller out with a two-year-old child in it.”

Town of Ellicott Police Officer Matt Kubinski said, “Luckily, the child was not hurt badly.”

Officer Kubinski says they’re still unsure why a child was pushing another child in a stroller, and why the two were so close to the lake without an adult supervision.

Authorities charged the toddler’s mother Kristen Anderson with endangering the welfare of a child. She’s expected to answer to those charges in a Town of Ellicott courtroom, next week.

In a small community where news spreads fast, just about everyone is calling Josh a hero.

Even Josh is starting to believe it.

“I’m a hero…”

Published in Kids & Teens
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