Maryland Man Hailed as 'Humble Hero' Speaks Out After Jumping Off a Bridge to Save Girl from Drowning
The hero who saved a young girl by jumping 25 feet off a bridge in Maryland last week has officially revealed his identity.
Jonathan Bauer, who didn't want to be identified at first, spoke for the first time on Friday and opened up about the encounter during a press conference, which was shared by WJLA.
Recalling the incident, Bauer of Berlin explained that the first thing he heard was the sound of tires screeching before he saw a truck turn over on the bridge's railing.
After making sure he and his daughter were both okay after a multi-car pileup, Bauer said he went and helped a passenger out of the truck before they signaled that something was wrong by pointing towards the water below.
"I saw the car seat and some other items, and about six feet away from the car seat was a little girl," he said. "She was on her back completely floating, head completely out of the water, arms moving, legs kicking, in a little pink dress."
The toddler eventually flipped over and started to sink underwater, which prompted Bauer to take action. He said he told his daughter Ava to alert the first firefighter or police officer and inform them about what had happened. Then, he carefully jumped from the bridge into the water below.
Once he was able to gather his bearings and locate the toddler, Bauer said, "I popped up, swam over to the girl, lifted her out of the water, and looked at her. Her mouth was open, her eyes were semi-open and then I put her against my shoulder very high and aggressively patted her on the back. And within seconds, she spit up a bunch of water — a lot of water — and then started coughing and took a deep breath."
Bauer added, I just kept patting her and she would cough and then spit up a little bit more water."
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"He didn't say anything. He was just so shocked of what happened," said Alayna, while Joe added that Bauer "was in some tremendous shock himself."
"It says a lot about some people's demeanor, just doing the right thing when you got to do it," Joe also said.
The young girl was later taken to Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore, according to an Ocean City Fire Department news release. The other individuals who were involved in the car crash were taken to other hospitals in the area, and have since been released.
Ocean City Mayor Richard W. Meehan called Bauer a "humble hero" at the Friday press conference.