Waterloo Police officer rescues three-year-old boy from canal

Updated: 07/24/2014 7:42 PM
Created: 07/24/2014 7:30 PM WHEC.com
By: Amanda Ciavarri

A police officer is being called a hero for saving a three-year-old boy. The boy's parents face charges and now can't see their kids.

Police say the parents thought their three and four-year-old sons were asleep in their rooms, but police were called to East Main Street in Waterloo at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday after someone called 911 to report two young boys wandering. One returned home, but police found the other boy in the canal. Now the boy’s parents, Neil McMillen and Chelsea Ticer, are charged with endangering the welfare of a child

The police officer, who rescued the boy, said the moment he saw the three-year-old, he didn't think, he just reacted.

Officer Matt Scaglione, Waterloo Police, said, “I mean no one expects walking to the canal to see a toddler floating in the middle, so for a second, I was kind of awe struck.”

Officer Matt Scaglione was one of the officers, who was called to the home Tuesday. A neighbor called 911 after seeing two young boys walking around her in-ground pool. After talking with the boys' parents, police realized two brothers, three and four-years-old, left the house through a window.

Officer Scaglione said, “They had laid them down to go to bed. The dad was getting ready for work, the mom was lying down because she was sick and the kids left through a bedroom window. It was a case of these parents thought their kids were sleeping and ended up having an officer knocking at their door.”

The four-year-old returned home on his own, but after searching through backyards, Officer Scaglione spotted the three-year-old, floating face up in the canal.

Scaglione said, “So I took my vest and belt off and swam out and brought him back to shore. Once we were on shore, I realized he was having trouble breathing. So I flipped him over on my arm, hit his back a few times. He was spitting up water and breathing pretty well again.”

The boy was checked out and wasn't hurt. There is no doubt those quick actions saved the boy’s life. Some in this town are calling Scaglione a hero.

Scaglione said, “It makes me feel good to be able to help him like that. I don't feel any different. I feel I did what anyone else would have done.”

The parents have been charged with endangering the welfare of a child. They have been ordered to stay away from the children. They are due back in court in September.

Police say the parents had a history of coming out to the house for calls of the parents not keeping a close eye on the kids.

News10NBC/WHEC-TV welcomes your opinion and interaction on our website, but please remember to keep it clean. If you're advertising for another business, being profane, vulgar or slanderous your post will be deleted. By commenting on this website, you agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Use. Comments are not pre-screened before they posted.


Scattered Clouds
75° | 62°
  • Feels like: 70° F
  • Wind: NW 6mph
  • Humidity: 68%
  • Thu Partly cloudy
    73° | 56°
  • Fri Sunshine
    78° | 54°
  • Sat Sunshine
    78° | 58°
  • Sun Abundant sunshine
    77° | 60°