Dramatic Bodycam Video Shows Florida Deputy Rescuing Drowning Woman from Pond

Newly-released bodycam footage shows the moment a quick-thinking Florida deputy jumped into a pond to rescue a mentally-ill woman earlier this month.

Officers responded to River park Circle in Orange County at roughly 7:25 a.m. on September 7 after receiving a report from a woman, named Marie Lafleur, who said her mother disappeared from her own home in Orlando, likely between the hours of 11 p.m. and 3 a.m.

The dramatic footage, timestamped around 12:10 p.m., was published on Facebook yesterday by the Orange County Sheriff's Office and has been viewed more than 20,000 times.

In the clip, deputy Jason Hess can be seen entering the water and pulling the woman to safety. After the rescue, officials said he dried off and went back to work. The identity of the saved woman, who was detained under a state mental health law, has not been released.

Deputy Hess rescues woman from pond

When Deputy Jason Hess spotted a woman struggling in a retention pond, he jumped in and rescued her.

Posted by Orange County Sheriff's Office, Florida on Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The woman's name and personal information remained redacted in a police report obtained by Newsweek, which confirmed deputies found her just as she entered a retention pond.

According to the report, Lafleur said her mother had walked out of her home nine times prior to the most-recent incident, but she had never reported it. She said her mother always returns home when she is hungry. Lafleur didn't know where she would go after leaving.

Police said after deputies arrived at the scene, the woman was found at a lakeside gazebo behind a leasing office of her apartment complex and spotted getting into a nearby lake.

"It was very clear [she] did not know how to swim. [The woman] appeared to be in distress and became submerged into the water," the report read.

The Orange County Fire Department also responded to the scene and the woman was then transported to Adventist Health East, police said.

The woman's granddaughter assisted with translation during an interview at the hospital due to a language barrier. According to the redacted police report, the woman said she didn't remember how she got into the pond and claimed she was "done with this life."

The deputy noted the woman had been detained under the Baker Act, which is a Florida law that can be used to involuntary hold a person in need of a mental health evaluation.

"It is my belief that without care or treatment [the woman] is likely to refuse care for herself and poses a present threat of substantial harm to her well-being," the Orange County deputy noted in the police report, adding: "There is also a substantial likelihood that [the woman] will cause serious body to herself or others in the near future, as evidenced by her recent behavior."

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Orange County Sheriff's Office pond rescue
The dramatic footage of deputy Jason Hess, which was timestamped around 12:10 p.m., was published on social media yesterday and has been viewed more than 18,000 times. Orange County Sheriff's Office