Good Samaritan, police officers honored for saving boy from icy pond

Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 8:46 AM CST
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AURORA, Ill. (WLS) - A 9-year-old Illinois boy is lucky to be alive after falling into an icy pond.

A good Samaritan jumped in after him, and police officers arrived soon after to help in the rescue.

On Tuesday, the city honored the resident and police officers who saved the boy.

“On the day they saved this young man over here, they went above and beyond,” said Richard Irvin, the mayor of Aurora, Illinois.

Tyshaun LaFlore fell through the ice the day before Thanksgiving when he went onto a frozen pond to get a football.

It happened as a neighbor, Shannon O’Neal, was prepping her holiday meal.

“My son came into the house like, ‘A boy fell through the pond,’ and I just took off running,” O’Neal said.

The former lifeguard barely had her shoes on when she got to Tyshaun.

“I seen his brother tied to a string or rope because he was trying to go out there and get his brother,” she said. “Just seeing the fear in everybody’s eyes, I just jumped in.”

O’Neal plunged into the icy waters and kept Tyshaun afloat until police arrived.

“When I got into the water, I just told him like, ‘Hold on to me. It’s going to be OK,’” O’Neal said.

Bodycam video released by Aurora police shows two officers in the water, while others worked to make sure everyone got out safely.

“Their selflessness, their courage and their teamwork no doubt helped turned what could have been a tragic, very tragic incident into a wonderful story,” Police Chief Keith Cross said.

Tyshaun’s mother, Mary Wilkins, is forever grateful for Aurora police and O’Neal.

“I’m blessed to have my son, to spend a Christmas with him and keep spending another holiday with him,” she said.

No one was seriously hurt. The two officers and Tyshaun were treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital and later released.

Tyshaun now also has a new football.