Deputy Saves 81-Year-Old Missing Man after Finding Him Lying in Retention Pond


So much of being helpful is being in the right place at the right time and being willing to jump into action at a moment’s notice.

Some people are just naturally better at combining those two factors than others, and some — such as Deputy Steven Jones — train for it.

Jones is a school resource officer with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, and on July 1, he spotted an older gentleman in distress.

The day before, 81-year-old Daniel Waterhouse of Orlando had gone missing, prompting a search for the vulnerable man.

“There is concern for Daniel Waterhouse’s well being as he may become lost or disoriented and does not have his prescribed medications,” said a missing-persons flyer shared by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

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Waterhouse was described as having shoulder-length gray hair and was last being seen wearing a black T-shirt and black shorts.

Jones had spotted a man fitting that description, lying in a retention pond in West Orange County, according to another Facebook post by the Sheriff’s Office. As Jones approached the man, he radioed in his find.

“OK, I found him,” Jones said, according to a bodycam video later released by the sheriff’s department. “I found him. He is in the water, and he’s moving.”

“Come on buddy. Come on. Gonna get you out the water.”

Jones carefully lifted the man, who was muttering incoherently,  onto the grassy bank, where Jones was met by another officer.

Waterhouse was aware enough to state his name as “Dan,” but it was clear that he was in rough shape, and if Jones hadn’t spotted him when he did, there’s no telling how long he would have lasted.

“You’re going to be fine buddy, come on,” Jones tells him, taking the man’s hands in both of his.

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“We’ve been looking for you buddy,” another officer says.

“I’m glad we found you, man,” Jones continued. “Thank goodness.”

Backup arrived shortly, and Waterhouse was taken to a hospital.

The Sheriff’s Office also shared footage of the rescue and a photo of the hero deputy so that people could recognize him publicly for his save.

“Deputy Steven Jones found an 81-year-old man who had been reported missing in a retention pond in west Orange County,” the office posted. “There had been concern for the man, whose name is Daniel, after he left his residence without his medication.

“After pulling Daniel from the water, Deputy Jones and several more OCSO deputies waited with Daniel until Orange County Fire Rescue could transport him to a nearby hospital.”

While no additional details are available on Waterhouse’s current condition, the sheriff’s office confirmed that he is recovering — thanks to Deputy Jones’ quick actions and keen eye.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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