Off-duty Belen police officer helps saves girl in San Diego

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A Belen police sergeant’s trip with family members to San Diego turned into a bit more work as he was walking along the pier near North Harbor Drive on Dec. 31.

Jose Natividad: Belen police sergeant

Jose Natividad, a sergeant with the Belen Police Department, heard a frantic scream from a father whose baby daughter had fallen into the water near the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Natividad and his family were walking along the pier when the incident happened at about 11:15 a.m.

The Belen police officer said he was able to grab a life preserver and talk the man through to safety.

“He was already holding the baby when I got there,” Natividad said. “But I was able to calm him down and help pull them out of the water.”

The sergeant said he happened to be in the right place at the right time. He said officers are trained to be aware of their surroundings at all times.

Natividad pulled the baby to safety once the father swam to a platform with his daughter. He had presence of mind to get the wet clothes off of the girl to avoid any type of hypothermia.

“(The father) was pretty exhausted from what all was going on,” Natividad said.

Natividad was interviewed by local television media in San Diego and said he was just reacting to the situation.

Belen Police Chief Dan Robb said the whole department is proud of Natividad’s quick actions.

“It shows the level of professionalism (he has),” Robb said. “Even when he is on vacation in another state, he is still doing his job.”


-- Email the author at bruffner@news-bulletin.com.