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Police Save 2 Teen-Agers Swept Into Pacoima Wash : Rescues: A third youth pulls himself out. The incident occurs exactly one year after a boy drowned.

February 13, 1993|JULIE TAMAKI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two youths swept into the Pacoima Wash on Friday were rescued by police in San Fernando and a third boy escaped the rapidly moving waters on his own, San Fernando police said.

The rescues took place exactly one year after a Woodland Hills teen-ager was carried to his death in the storm-swollen Los Angeles River.

The youths were swept away Friday by a current estimated at 15 to 20 m.p.h. as they tried to cross the wash near El Cariso Regional Park in Sylmar, Sgt. Ken Beldan said. "They were messing around where they shouldn't have been and they fell in," he said.

About a mile south of the park, Luis Bedoy, 15, was able to grab a branch and get to shore.

"I was scared," Luis said later. "I was afraid I was never going to see my family again."

San Fernando police rescued Miguel Bedoy, 13--Luis' brother--and Selso Rodriguez, 14, from the wash at 4th Street, about two miles from the park, Beldan said.

"We saw their bikes come down the wash first and then we spotted the boys," Beldan said. "We got them out in a few minutes, but we didn't even try for the bikes . . . they're somewhere in the ocean by now."

To rescue the youths, Officer John Cook threw a 100-foot rope to an unidentified man standing on the other side of the wash, Beldan said. The boys, traveling down the wash about 100 yards apart, grabbed the rope and were then helped out of the water by police officers.

Members of a city fire rescue team examined the youths at the scene, but none suffered serious injuries, said Phil Weireter, a city fire spokesman.

"For the ride they took, they came out pretty well unscratched," Beldan said.

It was on Feb. 12 last year that Adam Bischoff, 15, of Woodland Hills fell from his bicycle into an arroyo leading into the Los Angeles River during heavy rains, and was swept past dozens of would-be rescuers who threw ropes and dangled from bridges in a futile attempt to save him.

Bischoff's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit this week against several local, state and federal government agencies--all those connected with the Los Angeles River flood-control system--charging that they had tolerated dangerous conditions and made no preparations to rescue anyone who fell in.

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