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Boy, 2 Rescuers Plucked From Pacoima Wash

April 05, 1995|JEANNETTE DeSANTIS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

PACOIMA — Three people were rescued from Pacoima Wash on Tuesday evening after a 7-year-old boy was seen floating in the water and two men, including a police officer, jumped in to save him and then had to be saved themselves, authorities said.

At 6:35 p.m., two girls called 911 to report that the boy, Jordan Bastasin, had fallen into the wash near Gladstone Avenue, according to authorities.

The foot-deep water in the mossy-bottomed channel, moving at 12 m.p.h., quickly washed Jordan down the waterway. A 20-year-old man jumped in near Ritchie Valens Park to rescue him, said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The man, who remained unidentified, soon became trapped in the swift-moving water himself and after traveling down the wash less than a mile, was joined by off-duty Los Angeles Police Officer Mike Grasso, who saw the boy and jumped in, authorities said.

"The officer grabbed the boy, kept his head above the water and held on until the Fire Department arrived," said Officer Arthur Holmes of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Firefighters rescued all three by dangling an aerial ladder across the wash and, using ropes and harnesses, plucked them from the water, Humphrey said.

Jordan was not injured but was taken to Holy Cross Medical Center in Granada Hills for observation. Grasso, a training instructor at the LAPD Police Academy and 14-year veteran, was also transported for observation, Humphrey said. The unidentified man declined medical assistance and left the scene soaking wet, he said.

"It just goes to show that even though there has been summer-like temperatures, the flood control channels can become unpredictably dangerous at any time," Humphrey said.

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