St. Paul Park, MN — “They all just stood and watched,” lamented Patrick Hedican, 28, after a harrowing incident in which he and friends, bystanders, desperately dove deep into a lake to locate and save a drowning child — while police and first responders looked on without assisting.

Submerged in the waters of Minnesota’s Carver Lake too long, the 5-year-old boy, later identified as Kendrick Jordan, Jr., did not survive.

Witnesses ordinary civilians tried to save the small child’s life — without any help from police or EMTs.

Hedican and a few friends were playing volleyball on the sandy shores on Saturday, when word traveled among beachgoers a child had gone missing — so they scoured the shoreline, hawkish for the vanished youth.

With the initial, brief search fruitless, Hedican and the others rushed into the water — swimming out from shore, and diving repeatedly — frantic to find the small child before time ran out.

“My buddy Chris, who is an ex-Marine, and me dove in right away. We didn’t see anything. We dove three times and kept going deeper,” Hedican told

Still nothing. No thrashing or disturbances on the surface. No signs of life. Then, they swam farther out — past the buoys marking the lake’s designated swimming area. A crowd gathered on land called out to the spontaneous rescuers to stop and form a human chain with them for safety — but time was running out. So they persisted.


“I thought, this kid only has a few minutes to live,” Hedican explained.

Deeper into the water they dove; but with minutes having elapsed, “me and my group of friends decided to dive in separate directions.”

Hedican — operating almost automatically on adrenaline — ultimately dove 25 feet to the bottom of Carver Lake. Looking up from the bottom, he saw the boy floating above him — suspended, motionless, at the top of a clump of seaweed.

Nearly out of breath, Hedican — himself, a father of two small children — pushed off the lake bottom and grabbed the child around his body, pulling him up quickly. As soon as breached the surface, he maneuvered so the boy’s back was to his chest and began to paddle — but they were still around 30 feet from shore.

“He was able to fit with his back on my chest, so I bear hugged him and started back to shore, kicking with my feet and using my arms to keep his head above the water,” Hedican told the outlet.

“When he got closer to the shore,” reports, “exhaustion overcame him and he started to sink from his efforts to keep the boy’s head above water. A friend swimming to shore beside him, Sierra Sewell, grabbed the boy from Hedican and put him on a flotation device. Other bystanders pulled the flotation device toward shore and carried the boy to a grassy area where paramedics were waiting to perform CPR.”

But, to Hedican, something was amiss — from shallower water, with the boy now in the hands of first responders, he realized police and EMTs had not even waded into the lake to shave time in hopes of saving the child’s life.

In fact, the bystander-turned-rescuer says the group of emergency personnel didn’t even get their shoes wet.

Woodbury Police Department spokesperson, Michelle Okada, balked at the suggestion, duly noting Hedican’s bravery, but explaining that, for police officers to “come out in the water to get them wouldn’t have saved any time.”

“Almost every single one of those responders: police, fire, EMS, almost every one of them have children,” Okada continued, “so they appreciate the high emotions that come with those situations and it does seem like time goes slower in those situations.”

Indeed, though time might have seemed to stand still for the spontaneous lake rescue squad, the minutes they spent attempting to locate Jordan made each second afterward invaluable in reviving him.

Despite bystanders’ quick thinking and lack of hesitation, the minutes trapped underwater proved too much for the 5-year-old — Jordan died after being transported to Regions Hospital.

“I just want people to pray for the boy’s family,” the distraught and irate father opined. “I don’t think I’m a hero. I just acted on what I felt. I watched people who were trained not do a thing until we brought him to them. The kid had minutes to live. Every minute counted. … At least get your knees and boots wet. Make an effort. I get out of the water and all of you are dry. He was just a baby, a five-year-old. They all just stood and watched.”

READ MORE:  Video Shows 7 Cops Laugh as A Man Drowns, So a Hero Citizen Jumped In and Saved His Life

Hedican wasn’t alone in excoriating so-called first responders for inaction on Saturday — a number of outraged witnesses took to social media to explain what had happened — and condemn, publicly, inaction by personnel well-trained to handle such an incident.

“Everybody that was here just hopped in, clothes on, didn’t matter. We just wanted that little boy to be safe,” one woman wrote in now-deleted post to social media, as quoted by “Everybody EXCEPT the police And whoever said that the officer ‘coordinated’ the human chain is WRONG. We formed it before the police even got there. They arrived and stood at the shore for several minutes and looked LOST, like a deer in head lights, looking to every day citizens to save this little boy.”

Another observer wrote starkly,

“Today I witnessed several officers and EMT’s sit back and do absolutely nothing as a 5 year old boy was drowning in Carver Lake. They sat at the shores and watched as the rest of us were in that lake looking for him. After 10 minutes of us looking for him someone finally pulled the child up from the water. An innocent, lifeless little boy who was under water for over 10 minutes. And not one person with a uniform was in the water.”

Still, Okada and the Woodbury Police Department insist officers — whom she said had only been on the scene for three minutes when the child was pulled from the water — and EMTs stepping in to help would have instead interfered and worsened the situation,

“Based on the time frame, the timing from when the first officer arrived, even if he was trained to do water rescue, it wouldn’t have been productive for him to jump right in the water.

“Keeping that time frame in mind for an officer to jump in the water not knowing wouldn’t be the best use of that time. What officers were doing as they arrived on scene were gathering information from multiple people on what was going on and deciding where to focus their efforts.”

She added, “By the time they found the body it was less than a minute before CPR was started. As you can imagine it would seem like forever.”

While seconds can indeed feel like minutes during a traumatic situation, beachgoers and civilian rescuers find the trained personnel culpable of not performing the full extent of their duties to save the small child — the police department’s response, thus, flippant disregard for their concerns.

Officials asserted — in light of the concerted effort by witnesses — nothing more could have been done to save Kendrick Jordan, Jr.’s life.

A GoFundMe campaign — with a modest goal of just $10,000 — has been created to assist with funeral expenses.

That a young father of two small children and his volleyball buddies — not police officers and emergency medical technicians — jumped into Carver Lake to save a child, no questions asked, left many witnesses to the incident bitter.

“Where I’m standing,” Hedican maintained, “it was wrong.”

Claire Bernish began writing as an independent, investigative journalist in 2015, with works published and republished around the world. Not one to hold back, Claire’s particular areas of interest include U.S. foreign policy, analysis of international affairs, and everything pertaining to transparency and thwarting censorship. To keep up with the latest uncensored news, follow her on Facebook or Twitter: @Subversive_Pen.
  • Damiana

    This is the end result of police and “first responders” being literally TRAINED to protect their own safety at any cost. Gone are the days where we demand ANYTHING by way of “heroism,” but God help you if their gang of copsuckers see you treating them like ANYTHING but Superman and Mother Teresa in one!

    • Connie Rogers

      someone has a deep seated desire to bash the actions of others all while being self righteous… I wasn’t there to witness anything but based on the story as it was told, this is not the fault of those who were called to help, but rather the ones that allowed a 5 year old child wander away & be gone long enough to get out into 25′ deep water & be 30′ away from the bank… if the child was missing that long you can bet the parents were not to concerned with the safety of their child – until they were…. I do not expect the first responders to be heroes, they are human beings just like the ones they HELP – so the next time you need help, who are you gonna call?

      • Damiana

        Justin, actually. If he drops the ball, I call Drew.

      • I think you’re missing the point. Normal human instincts dictate that when a child is in distress or dying, we jump into action to help them, often without much thought to any potential repercussions. And while it’s better to think before acting, inaction is inexcusable! I’d be torn up by guilt, as most humans would, if I sat there with my thumb up my ass while a 5-year old drowned!

        And please cease with the tired, weak argument of “don’t ever criticize police because someday you may decide to call them!” Many servile Americans would do well to stop reflexively calling the police for any number of stupid reasons. That’s how we’ve become a nascent, full-blown police state! Besides, these days, calling the police is a very risky proposition: you yourself could be arrested for basically anything or nothing at all. A loved one could easily be bludgeoned or shot for looking at a public servant the wrong way. Dogs, too. They’re big on shooting dogs!

        If we must have police (police are a relatively new idea – for many, many years we did not and people somehow managed to police themselves) good, heroic officers should be widely commended and retained, while corrupt, abusive officers should be roundly condemned and face the same justice that the “civilians” face. No union ass-covering at taxpayer expense!

      • crazytrain2

        Good response.

      • Mark LaRue

        Another boot licker!

      • ColleenPatriciaWilliams

        You are black comedy. The first responders were useless when my husband died. Slow and lazy.

    • Broos

      Thank you for the GRATE Reframe; I’ve never heard better than, Copsuckers !

  • Connie Rogers

    sometimes it is much easier to try & blame someone else for the disastrous results that happen, because someone allowed that child to wander away & become lost in a lake – apparently for an extended period of time because the indicated distance was 30′ from shore & the water was supposedly 25′ deep – yeah, that kid had been in the water of a LAKE for longer than ten minutes to get that far out without anyone noticing… perhaps had the parents been vigilant in watching their child he wouldn’t be dead now… anyone who takes their children to a body of water that could take their lives should be aware of their activities & give them their undivided attention – if you are going to be busy setting up your chairs & umbrellas & getting snacks ready – make the kids part of that activity – not just allow them to wander away, especially at 5 years old… This family has no one to blame but themselves & then when they do that they need to learn how to forgive their selves too, otherwise this will never be something that they can have closure from… so in all this that is being reported as inactivity of the first responders, know that they were still there to do what they could & anyone who knows anything about assessing the situation & planning the actions needed to remedy it, it doesn’t just happen in 3 minutes of arriving & watching what is already taking place while gaining information on the situation…

    • Jamie Hall

      Go jump in a lake, a very deep lake, with weights strapped on, and don’t bother coming back out! For good measure, I’ll even call 911 for you. So hold your breath or don’t, the outcome will be the same either way.

    • Madmotorman™ ® The Mad Hatter

      Things happen in an instant as we are all aware, but to turn all the blame on the parents alone is a squirrel argument from someone who is in or knows people in government service. They arrived and their shoes are still polished black, blame the parents all you want, but why didn’t even one of them have wet shoes. Answer that!!!!

    • BillieOB

      You obviously don’t know 5yo boys and how quick they can be. Also, I think you should measure out 30 ft. and 10 minutes. You don’t know how far out the drop off to 25 ft. is and you can’t say for sure he was out there for over 10 minutes because chances are he inhaled water into his lungs instead of holding his breath the whole time.
      There was also an article recently that told of a police force in Ohio that does not make any effort to revive or help people who OD on opioids when called out which means they let them die, so this behavior is not unusual for law enforcement.

    • Rob W

      Someone doesn’t get it. There isn’t any blame being assigned to the responders for the child’s death. The responders aren’t being blamed for anything; they are being excoriated for their inaction upon arrival.

    • Mark LaRue

      FO btch!

    • ColleenPatriciaWilliams

      Keep posting bullcrap. No one believes it

  • Kim Qitqat Brechtel

    Sadly there is a piece of news about 80 strangers who formed a line to rescue a family caught in a rip tide……wish the people in this story had done the same. Wonder if the cops there just stood on shore. Same with EMS?

  • palvadore

    Hats off to those stouthearted Men!

    And the child. RIP

  • Don Unruh

    Cops. Never call for assistance since they really are worthless when it comes right down to it. They’re not required to risk their lives for civilians (protecting or serving, I’m not quite sure which one this falls under), they show up after a crime has been committed so you can get a police report for your insurance company, drive around looking for someone to bully and extort money from us for bullshit infractions. A new charter and mission statement needs to created. Otherwise, we’ll continue into this police state.

  • Dan Quixoté

    We The People are the first responders. We The People are the police. The people in uniforms and badges are our occasional backup. My hat is off to those who went in after the child. THEY were the ones manifesting true love and humanity. Those who do so for a paycheck cannot be relied upon. If I’m ever drowning, send me un-badged, God-fearing volunteers any day of the week.

    My condolences to the family. I’ve lost two of my several children to tragedy. It’s a superlative pain, simply incomparable. Please know that humanity’s best was sent after your son, against all odds in this fallen world. At the minor risk of being flamed, I affirm this 5yo boy to be carried, still in the state of innocence, in the arms of the angels, to a permanent state of Grace and Love for eternity.

  • crazytrain2

    I am not one to shy away from criticizing police when they fuck up. But the criticism in this instance is fucking ridiculous.

    Police arrive after the human chain is formed, after the hero in this incident is already diving deep to try and locate the boy, and people are bashing the police for not taking off all of their equipment and jumping in the water to try and locate a boy that they did not see, and had no idea where he was. The shitty article headline makes it seem as though the police were watching the boy thrash about and rather than help, had a picnic lunch while he drowned. That is just garbage journalism.

    This is heartbreaking, and the hero that located the boy, despite his efforts, could not save him. But again, the criticism on police is way off and misplaced. Where were the parents or guardians that were supposed to be watching this child? Nope, let’s blame the police that were last on scene. Fuck that nonsense.

    • Rob W

      But why the official lie, that the police co-ordinated the human chain? That office seems ashamed of it’s officers’ actions, and it’s fucking retarded to give them a pass on any lies to the public. It’s illegal for you or I to lie to a police officer, but not the other way around… when the “good guys” have a legal pass to lie to us, something smells rotten in Denmark. Giving them a pass? Fuck that nonsense.

  • Ed

    I question where were the parents, when this boy went under? Missed that part of the story.