Toddler rescued from pond in northwest Portland - News, Weather & Sports

Toddler rescued from pond in northwest Portland

Rochelle Huegli Rochelle Huegli

A woman and her dog saved a toddler's life at a Northwest Portland apartment complex Friday afternoon.

Kerri Cooper said she was watching TV when her 4-year-old dog, Lucy, started barking at the back porch.

"If I hadn't heard her making a commotion at the window, I wouldn't have gotten up," said Cooper.

When Cooper looked outside, she said she saw a toddler walking toward the pond in the courtyard of her apartment complex.

"When I yelled, ‘Don't go by the water,' he turned around to look at me," she said. "A duck flew in the water and he just turned around towards the ducks and didn't pay any attention."

With no parent in sight to stop the child, Cooper said she ran outside. By the time she reached the boy, he was already neck deep in the water.

"Honestly, he would have died," said Cooper. "He would have been underwater. He was up to his neck when I found him."

Cooper said she took the child to the apartment complex's office and they called 911. While waiting for police to arrive, deputies said the toddler's grandmother showed up at the office looking for him.

Deputies arrested 58-year-old Rochelle Huegli on charges of criminal mistreatment and child neglect.

Investigators said she had been drinking when she fell asleep while babysitting the boy and he walked out of her apartment.

"She said that this has happened before, that he has gotten out," said Cooper. "I'm lucky I saw it this time."

Cooper rescued Lucy from a shelter in California as a puppy.

The 2-year-old boy was returned to his parents.

Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation.  All rights reserved.

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