FHP Major Recalls Attempt To Save Drowning Toddler
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The two-year-old boy who was reported missing Monday, and was later found in a canal near his family’s home, has died.
According to the Miami-Dade Police Department, police were dispatched to missing two-year-old boy, Maxuell Armah, Monday afternoon.
When police arrived, the family told authorities that they had just found the boy inside a nearby canal.
An officer and an off-duty Florida Highway Patrol Major jumped into the water to rescue the child.
Major Sammie Thomas was at home with his family Monday afternoon when a distraught mother knocked on his door.
“She was frantic that her two year old child was missing. I grabbed my radio, went outside the house and immediately went to the lake,” Major Thomas said.
His instincts to check the water first quickly proved correct when he spotted Armah floating.
Both men rushed into the water, at times dipping below the surface because of the depth.
When Thomas and the Miami-Dade officer were able to pull the child from the water, they began their efforts to revive him.
Thomas didn’t leave the child’s side until emergency crews arrived.
The boy was rushed to the hospital.
Sadly, he did not survive.
“I’ve been up all night praying for the child and the family. They stay directly across the street,” Thomas said. “I’ll do whatever I can to try to be supportive of them.”
It’s not clear how Armah ended up in the water.
In that moment, it didn’t matter. All that mattered to Major Thomas was trying to save the little boy.
“I saw someone in need and I was going to do everything I could to help that child.”
Concerned neighbors told CBS4′s Summer Knowles that the incident was hard to watch.
“I saw them take the baby on the grass and that’s when they put him in the ambulance,” said Ulyesse Grant Jr., a witness to the attempted rescue. “It’s sad. Sometimes I see kids playing around the lake and I say I hope they don’t fall in.”
“I noticed there was an adult there at the door and she was frantic that her two year old child was missing,” said FHP Major Sammie Thomas, the off-duty officer who tried to save the boy. “With the child missing, the first place I would want to check would be the lake.”
Police, as of Tuesday afternoon, are not suspecting foul play.