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Man who doesn’t know how to swim jumps into NJ hotel pool, rescues drowning boy

FAIRFIELD, N.J. — Police say a Pennsylvania man who doesn’t know how to swim jumped in and rescued a boy from drowning in a pool at a New Jersey hotel.

Fairfield police say a Paterson woman and a male companion were in the pool at the La Quinta Inn on Thursday with her five children, who range in ages from one to nine. Police say none knew how to swim, and the 9-year-old boy went under water.

The companion ran to the front desk for help around 6:40 p.m. Police say 37-year-old Randolph Tajada-Perez of Hazelton, Pennsylvania, was checking in. Tajada-Perez, who doesn’t know how to swim, jumped into the pool and after several attempts reached the child.

“Anyone who has a fear of water and is not comfortable swimming can truly appreciate the bravery displayed by this hero guest, who conquered his own fears to save the young life of another,” said Police Chief Anthony G. Manna. “All of us at the police department are extremely proud of him.”

The boy is in stable condition. He was breathing when police arrived and received further treatment at St. Joseph’s Medical Center

Police are calling Tajada-Perez a “hero guest.”