(CBS) – An Evanston Police officer was honored for his off-duty heroism last week.
Officer Sean O’Brien, 26, was driving home with his girlfriend Tuesday, March 5, when he saw a young child running in the street with no adult supervision near the intersection of Miner Street and River Road in Des Plaines.
O’Brien continued to watch the child as the youngster continued toward the edge of the Des Plaines River. Sure enough, the child ended up in the water and became submerged.
The officer immediately jumped in the river and grabbed the child’s hand, pulling him out from below the water surface to safety.
“I grabbed him and brought him back to the car,” O’Brien said.
The child was a 7-year-old boy, who lives a block away from the river. He was being watched by his grandmother and had left the house without the grandmother’s knowledge.
O’Brien was honored at Monday’s Evanston City Council meeting. He says he’s humbled by the honor and surprised by all the hype.
“I think we’re just trained to react to these kinds of incidents. We just don’t think about it,” he said of first-responders.
O’Brien, who’s been on the force for four years, says he plans to meet with the boy’s family later this week.
This isn’t the first time O’Brien came to the rescue to someone in need while off duty.
“A fellow officer of mine, we were on our way home. She hit one of Chicago’s infamous potholes and her car flipped and started on fire so myself and another childhood friend who happened to be coming home happened to be there and we kicked out the windshield and pulled her from the car,” he said.