Officers Break Protocol To Save A Belvidere Teen


The Coroner has released the name of the boy who died after jumping into a pond in Belvidere.

He is identified as 16-year-old Braulio Hernandez. He was a Belvidere North High School student, who also ran track and played soccer. Hernandez died last night at the hospital despite heroic efforts to save him .Those who arrived first on the scene risked their own lives to save the teen. Five officers, going against their training, dove in the water to find the victim.

“Very unfortunate incident,” said Belvidere Fire Chief Al Hyser. “I hope to never see that again.”

The teen was at Blue Pond in Spencer Park with a friend when he jumped in the water and didn’t resurface.

“There’s some great depths in there,” said Hyser. “Some say 50 feet but it could be more.”

But that didn’t stop the five officers that free dived into the pond to try to save Hernandez. After more than 40 minutes of searching, divers finally found Hernandez in about 24 feet of water. Deputy Chief of Belvidere Police Matthew Wallace says he admires the lengths first responders go to rescue a victim.

“To see the dedication to save people’s lives,” said Wallace. “They’re not trained to do these things, they don’t have the equipment that the fire department has. It was really impressive to see and it made me proud to work with these people.”

Chief Hyser agrees. He says their department knows they have to take any measures necessary to get results.

“The idea for us is what we think about is risk a lot, to save a lot,” Hyser said.

Hernandez’s tragic death serves as a reminder to use caution around water and to only swim in designated areas.

“These places at the parks they have these signs,” said Wallace. “[They have] these warnings in place because they are not supervised.”

“Right now our waters as you know we’ve had lots of rain,” said Hyser. “Our waters are very high, Spencer Park and all the rivers, Kishwaukee River as well, great places to be when the conditions are right.”

There is a GoFundMe campaign to pay for Hernandez’s funeral expenses.

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