A Sand Springs woman saved a 3-year-old from drowning after she noticed him wandering around a neighborhood by himself.
Ashley Tabor said she is still shaken up by how she rescued him. She said every time she tried to get the toddler’s attention he ran which took her all the way to the neighborhood pond. Tabor turned corners in her car with police on the phone as the toddler who is nonverbal wandered around the neighborhood; the curious situation took a turn of its own.
“Last night really messed with me because like I can just see him going under the water and… you know you go to like, what if I didn’t grab him… I don’t know,” said Ashley Tabor.
Tabor wonders, ‘what if it was her 5- and 8-year-old boys?’
She was in her mom’s neighborhood Thursday afternoon when she noticed the 3-year-old acting lost and disoriented. When they tried to approach him, the boy ran. That’s when Tabor followed him around the neighborhood in her car and called the police.
Eventually, she said the boy stopped at the pond for a moment before running into it.
“Shifted my car in park, threw my phone down, and just ran into the pond after him,” said Tabor.
She said the little boy would go under and come back up but kept getting pulled further into the center near the fountain.
“Somehow, I managed to grab the back of his pants and just yank him towards me, and then I got a better hold of him and pulled him out,” said Tabor. “[…] I’m CPR certified. I gave him some back thrusts just trying to get some of the water up and he coughed a few times, and he was fine.”
Tabor said she was a preschool teacher for many years and is now a full-time sub, and said her protective instincts and adrenaline just kicked in. Police arrived a short time later, reunited the 3-year-old, who is non-verbal with his parents, and contacted DHS.
“What [officers] found was a house with a bunch of people in it. Lots and lots of kids. Lots of little kids,” said Deputy Chief Todd Enzbrenner, Sand Springs Police Department.
The toddler’s parents told police their kids were playing outside, and the boy wandered off while one of the older children was looking after him.
“They disappear. They just… some kids just do, and you always have to be on guard. And I think the family learned a valuable lesson that this little guy needs to be kept an eye on,” said Enzbrenner.
Tabor doesn’t consider herself a hero; she said she was just in the right place at the right time. Police, however, believe she is a hero, no doubt.