Henry Ricketts has only been out of prison for two weeks, but he says he’s committed to turning his life around.
On Saturday, he put his money where his mouth is when he and another bystander jumped into a septic tank to save a 2-year-old girl in Maricopa, Ariz., local media report. The toddler had accidentally fallen through a damaged lid when Ricketts, prompted by the mom’s screams, dived into the tank head-first.
Despite his efforts, Ricketts couldn’t immediately locate the girl. He was forced to surface after inadvertently inhaling some of the water.
“They pulled him back up, but they couldn’t find her,” bystander Barbara Fowler told CBS 5, describing the panicked scene. “Immediately after that, another gentleman went in head-first, and they had a guy on either side holding each of his feet and dropped him down in there and he dug around and came up with that baby, by its arm.”
By that point, the girl had been submerged for several minutes and was no longer breathing, reports ABC15, which cites witnesses saying her face had turned blue.
Fortunately, another bystander stepped forward and started administering CPR, reviving the child by the time emergency responders arrived on scene. The girl has since been taken to a local hospital, where she is recovering.
“I would have done it for anybody,” Ricketts told ABC15. “I have a son, too.”
The septic tank, meanwhile, has been roped off while investigators decide whether or not to file criminal charges against the tank’s owner, a separate CBS 5 report notes.