GONZALES, LA (FOX44) — A 16-year veteran of the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office is being hailed a hero. Sergeant Chad Stafford jumped into a pond and saved a little boy from drowning.
"A baby was drowning, you know, get the baby out," Stafford said.
That was Chad Stafford's first instinct Tuesday afternoon.
"We could hear a child screaming, you know, crying. It was about 75 yards across on the other side of the apartment complex," Stafford said.
Stafford's worked for the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office for 16 years. He said keeping people safe is part of the job.
But Tuesday was different. Stafford was on-duty near the Mansions of Ivy Lakes Apartment Homes when he heard a kid scream.
"So I ran along the pond on the bank," Stafford said.
When he got there, he saw the little boy's feet sticking out of the water.
"I jumped in, and I grabbed the child and pulled him out of the pond," Stafford said.
Stafford said he found the boy's mom with help from a neighbor.
"When she went into her room upstairs, the baby took out the front door. She said the older sister, the five-year-old girl opened the door," Stafford said.
Stafford is a dad. So he said saving the little boy came naturally, but Sheriff Jeff Wiley said, it wasn't just a coincidence.
"I don't think there's any doubt that had he not been there and God not put him there, that we would have maybe had another different story," Wiley said.
"I'm grateful, you know, for the recognition, but I did what anybody would have done," Stafford said.
Right now, Child Protection Services is looking further into the incident.