Officers speak out after Naperville rescue: 'just doing our job'

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Friday, January 12, 2024
Officers speak out after Naperville pond rescue: 'just doing our job'
Naperville, IL police officers are speaking out after rescuing 3 from a car crashed in a retention pond earlier this month.

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- The west suburban police officers, who sprang into action to free people trapped in a vehicle that had crashed into a pond, are speaking out Thursday.

Those officers waded into freezing water earlier this month in Naperville.

When officers arrived, they could see the car sitting in the pond. Water had started to fill the inside, and a 2-year-old was strapped into a car seat in the back.

"The closer we got, we could see her ponytail sticking out over the seat, so we just had to go in and get her," Naperville police Officer Courtney Madden said.

And that's what they did.

Video from the officer's body camera shows them jumping into the extremely cold water and making their way to the car.

"People have been asking how cold was the water. After that initial feeling of going in, the adrenalin kicked in, and I didn't feel anything 'til I got out," Naperville police Officer Mark Schumacher said.

The child's mother and father were in the front seat while the car sat in about 4 and a half feet of water.

SEE MORE: Police officers rescue 2 adults, child after car crashes into Naperville retention pond: VIDEO

The driver had apparently accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake, sending the car into the pond.

But, because of the pressure of being underwater, they were unable to unlock the doors to escape.

So, Madden broke a rear window to relieve the pressure and get the door unlocked, allowing Naperville police Officer Allison Simko to get the baby out.

"She was not happy about the window being broken, so she was crying a little bit from that. But once we scooped her up, I don't think she made a sound until we got to shore," Simko said.

Once they all got to safety, the fire department and paramedics were on-hand to treat them for exposure, but no one was seriously injured.

Some Naperville residents are calling them heroes.

"We were just doing our job. We appreciate it, but we were in the right place at the right time that day," Madden said.

Some police department officials believe that they were acting above and beyond their duties.

They're planning to award all three officers with commendations very soon.