The good Samaritan who jumped into a stagnant Montville pond with police to pull a trapped man from an overturned truck says he plans to nominate the officers for a U.S. Coast Guard Lifesaving Medal.
Noah Enslow, 33, of Sprague, who served for nearly six years in the Coast Guard and now is a dock master technician at Electric Boat in Groton, said the trooper and officers deserve recognition for their efforts on June 18 to rescue 49-year-old Jeffrey Weed of Norwich from a life-threatening situation.
Police have said the same of Enslow, who ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the 47th House District in the last election.
Enslow was within walking distance of Route 85 in Montville helping a friend move when he heard the crash and looked out the window to see the truck upside down in the water.
Jeffrey Weed was traveling in an Osterman Propane truck west on Route 85 when Paul Deckelman, 31, of Old Saybrook, accused of fleeing police in a stolen pickup truck, came barreling down Route 161 and ran the red light at the intersection of Route 85, slamming into Weed's passing truck. The impact sent Weed's truck into the pond.
Enslow said he started running for the water, perhaps because of his emergency medical training but more because he thought it was the right thing to do.
"We had a saying in the Coast Guard, you have to go out but you don't have to come back," Enslow said. "We always went out to aid people in trouble."
Enslow made his way to the truck's cab where Weed was still seat belted and upside down underwater. He was joined at the scene by Trooper Timothy Bentley, East Lyme Resident Trooper Sgt. Wilfred Blanchette and East Lyme Officer Lindsey Cutillo.
Together they wrestled to get Weed's head above water and free him from the truck.
"As soon as we got his head above water he started breathing," Enslow said. "It was a little scary up to that point."
Weed, who was flown to Hartford Hospital in critical condition, was upgraded to fair condition last week. He has since slipped back into critical condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
Enslow said the water gave him red welts and wonders what swallowing the water may have done to Weed. He has since contacted Weed's wife to get updated information on his condition.
"I'm pulling for him," Enslow said.
Deckelman faces numerous charges related to the crash.
Enslow said he is putting together a packet of paperwork to submit to the U.S. Coast Guard, which awards gold and silver life saving medals typically reserved for those who risk their own safety to save someone from drowning.