Politics Magazine

Santa Clarita Deputy Hikes Miles Along Canyon Trail to Rescue Child on Cliff

Posted on the 10 August 2015 by Jim Winburn @civicbeebuzz

SANTA CLARITA - A Santa Clarita Sheriff's deputy on Tuesday guided a 11-year-old boy to safety after his mother reported he became stuck on a ledge along the Haskell Canyon Trail, authorities said Wednesday.

The mother notified the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, becoming increasingly concerned for the boy's safety as they began to lose daylight. The Valencia boy was stuck on an eight-foot high ledge and was afraid to come down, the mother told deputies responding to the scene.

The mother, along with her son and a friend, intended only to take a short hike before sundown.

"As they approached a trailhead, she momentarily stopped while her son and friend began walking on two trails that were parallel to each other," the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Information Bureau stated. "Her friend briefly lost sight of her son, and when her friend crested a hill, she observed him hiking up farther. [...] He eventually ended up on the approximate eight-foot high ledge and was afraid to come down."

When the deputies arrived, they immediately contacted the Santa Clarita Search and Rescue Team. However, Sheriff's Deputy Adam Lagabed decided to hike up the trail to locate the missing parties before darkness fully enclosed upon them.

After reaching the boy's mother and friend, the two began hiking with the deputy to show him where the boy was located.

"[Lagabed] hiked for a distance as it got more and more uphill, and once he was halfway there he realized how far he had hiked and how far he had to go, but he could see the boy on the ridge in the distance so he kept going," Sheriff's officials reported.

He eventually reached the boy in an uphill area and noticed the soil became more loose as he hiked up the ridge. And realizing that the dirt would be too loose to get back down safely, Deputy Lagabed positioned himself under the ridge and told the boy to slide off, saying he would catch him before he hit the ground.

"I'm right here. You can do it. Trust me," Deputy Lagabed told the child, according to a Sheriff's statement.

Officials said the 11-year-old boy reluctantly did as he was asked and slid down the ridge. The boy was guided safely to the ground by the deputy and was soon reunited with his mother.

He suffered no injuries from the experience, according to Sheriff's officials. After the Search and Rescue Team arrived on scene, all parties were safely escorted out of the canyon.

Deputy Lagabed said he knew just what to say to the child to coax him down from the ledge, saying, "I was thinking about how my mom used to get mad at me for doing this same kind of thing."

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