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Hero who can’t swim jumps in pool, saves Philly boy

by Jessica Johnson, Contributor

Randolph Tajada-Perez was checking into a New Jersy La Quinta Inn on Thursday when a man ran into the lobby looking for help for a young boy who was underwater in the deep end of the hotel pool. Despite not knowing how to swim himself, 37-year-old Tajada-Perez of Hazelton, Pennsylvania, jumped in and got the boy out of the pool.

According to News 12 in New Jersey,  the 9-year-old boy was in the pool with his four younger siblings, his mother and her male companion – none of whom could swim. While it isn’t clear if all of them were in the water, at some point the adults were focused on the younger children and the young boy began to struggle in the deep end.

At approximately 6:30 p.m., the mother’s companion ran to the front desk saying the child was under water and needed help.

According to Fairfield Police Chief Anthony Manna, “The officers observed that the victim had a pulse and was breathing on his own. They administered oxygen and monitored his condition
until he was transported to St. Joseph’s Medical Center by the West Essex First Aid Squad.”

Tajada-Perez’s quick thinking and selfless actions saved the young Paterson, New Jersey boy who was listed in stable condition Friday morning. Local police are lauding Tajada-Perez as a “hero guest.”

Jessica Johnson is a freelance journalist, blogger, and poet whose work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, online publications, and literary journals. Jessica has worked in the fields of education, criminal prosecution, marketing, psychology, and athletics. Jessica grew up in Santa Cruz, California, which was once known as the “Murder Capital of the World.”