Jon Fowler said, “Just because we’re incarcerated doesn’t mean we’re bad people.”
When Nelson Pettis, 37, Larry Bohn, 29, and Jon Fowler, 29, were sent to do community service on January, 30, cleaning up a park close to their minimum security prison in Yacolt, Washington, they expected it to be like any other day of work release. But according to People.com, “they had no idea how important that day’s community service would be.”
It was while they were finishing up that they heard screams coming from the creek that runs through the park. Three young boys had been canoeing on the cold creek and had capsized. The men saw the boys “struggling to keep their heads above water” in the 25-mph current. Pettis told KPTV, “It was raging pretty fast. They were really scared.” Bohn and Pettis told reporters they “didn’t think twice” about plunging into the water to save the children. They towed them to a small island and wrapped them in their shirts for warmth to wait for rescue crews. Bohn said, “They kept telling us, ‘Thank you, thank you.'”
The third man, Fowler, stayed on the shore to direct emergency crews to the children and assisted in blowing up an inflatable raft and retrieving the group. He told reporters later that although some may find what they did surprising, “We did what any good person would do. Just because we’re incarcerated doesn’t mean we’re bad people. We made some bad choices in our lives, but we’re still just like everybody else.” Authorities report that although all three of the men are incarcerated, they are all serving time for “non-violent crimes.”
All three of the boys were taken to the hospital and treated for mild hypothermia.
Do you think it’s surprising that people society deems “criminals” would turn out to be heroes?