A sheriff’s deputy in southeast Iowa is grateful that a group of boys were nearby when he found himself in a life-threatening situation this week. Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Hamilton was called last Sunday to check out a busted-open safe which was sitting on the icy English River.
Three boys were there watching Hamilton as he stepped onto the ice to take a few pictures. They were shocked to see what happened next. Cory Kanagy says Hamilton plunged into the freezing water and was struggling to get back on solid ice.
“It was scary at first, not knowing if he was going to be able to get out of the hole or not,” Kanagy said. Levi Powell – who the boys believed was the lightest – laid on the ice and helped pull Hamilton out of the water. Levi’s brother, Drew, says the deputy wasn’t in the water very long – but the water was extremely cold.
“We helped him get his clothes off because they were all wet so he didn’t have hypothermia, put a blanket around him and put him in Levy’s truck,” Drew said. Deputy Hamilton says the boys not only saved him from freezing, they also helped him find a key piece of evidence. He was looking for the safe as part of an investigation of a home burglary. This was the second scary situation for Hamilton since he started with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office less than three months ago.
In December, a tractor-trailer slammed into his patrol vehicle while he and a stranded motorist were sitting inside. Hamilton cut his hand on broken glass and required stitches.
By Claire Kellett, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids