An off-duty Evanston police officer is being called a hero after he jumped into the Des Plaines River Tuesday afternoon to rescue a 7-year-old boy.
The officer, Sean O'Brien, was driving near the dam at Joseph Schwab Road at about 3:40 p.m. when he watched the little boy approach the river and throw in a snowball, said Des Plaines Fire Chief Alan Wax.
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Next, the boy either fell or jumped in the river. O'Brien saw him and immediately jumped out of his vehicle and went in after him.
"He definitely saved the boy's life," Wax said. "(The boy) was only in the water a matter of seconds. The officer was able to go into the water up to his thighs and grab him."
Water levels at that area are estimated to be 2 to 4 feet deep.
The boy was transported to Lutheran General Hospital in good condition.