I don't know anyone in St Tammany parish, I just happened to read this follow-up article about the deputies that rescued the boy that had his arm bitten off by an alligator. This happened a couple of days ago. Mods- I posted it here in the leo discussion, as a salute and reminder of these guys hustling to help someone, under bad circumstances.
Deputy tells of the moments following gator attack
By Marcelle Hanemann
St. Tammany News
On Thursday morning, while St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Detective Ben Godwin was preparing for a follow-up visit to his doctor before returning to duty, he explained why he needed medical clearance and what had happened the prior afternoon in Slidell.
“I was in the subdivision doing an extra patrol in the area for drug-related activities when I overheard the dispatcher telling patrol units about a 911 call regarding a kid who got his arm bitten of by an alligator. It was a kid. We had to go,” Godwin said.
Godwin and his partner, Detective Gordon Summerlin, headed toward the pond and were flagged down by a New Orleans Police Department officer who lives in the subdivision. He told them they would have to take the levee to get to the pond.
“But when we got there, we got there blocked by a chain link fence and the kid was about a mile and a half in,” said Godwin. “All we could do was run. I grabbed a towel I had in my unit, and me and Gordon took off running. I made it to the kid first. He was out by the pond where the alligator attacked.
“I pulled him to the top of the levee. He had bad lacerations on his neck, and his arm was just gone. I wrapped him in the towel and ran back with him.”
The child, Devin Funck, was remarkably calm, said Godwin. The detectives worked to keep him that way, and to keep him alive.
“I kept the towel over him,” said Godwin. “I didn’t want him to see his arm. He talked about paint ball. And he said he was thirsty. I told him I had a Mountain Dew back in the unit, but he couldn’t have all of it because I needed some, too.”
Godwin kept running through the heat of the afternoon. Funck started to turn pale.
“I kept him talking,” said Godwin. “If he’s talking he’s breathing. And he was thinking. He was making sense.”
When they were part way back from the pond, some help arrived.
“A civilian on a mule, a four-wheeler, was coming toward us as I was running back,” said Godwin. “He picked us up and drove us the rest of the way to where the fire department and medical personnel were.
“When we made it back, medical personnel took the kid, and the next thing I knew I woke up in the emergency room.”
The detective suffered a heat stroke. His partner ended up in the emergency room as well. Summerlin was dehydrated.
“We had all our gear on — attack vests, bullet proof vests, thick clothes,” said Godwin. “We didn’t really think about it. It was a kid. If we had thought about it we would have known better.”
The men were in a hurry to rescue a child in great need. And they got to him before the gator returned. The 11-foot-long alligator was later caught and killed, and the boy’s arm was recovered Wednesday evening. But doctors were not able to reattach the limb.