A man who plunged into an ice-choked pond Thursday night to rescue a 5-year-old boy ended up losing his own life.
“He’s a hero,” Tammy Rhodes said of the 29-year-old man, whose name was not being released. “He tried, he tried so hard.”
Rhodes, 42, was a guest at the Hartford on the Lake apartment complex and one of the first ones who rushed to the pond and called 911.
The boy was in critical condition Thursday night at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Cherron Pinkston, 42, an apartment resident, heard the commotion and came out to witness the rescue attempt.
“He was holding the child and trying to stay above the water,” Pinkston said of the man.
She remembers him saying, “I can’t hold my breath any longer” just before he and the boy went under.
Rhodes believed the boy had ventured out on to the ice, fell through and started yelling for help, Rhodes said. She saw the man go in after him.
“He did the best he could. He was trying to hold the boy up,” Rhodes said.
Columbus firefighters were called at 5:41 p.m. to the apartment complex across S. Hamilton Road and north from Eastland Mall.