Police officer meets Ohio man he saved nearly 20 years ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A Columbus police officer was taken by surprise when an Ohio man he saved as a child from drowning nearly 20 years ago.

Both Christopher Jones, 24, and officer James Poole, 43, were overcome with emotion Friday when they met at the Columbus Police Academy since the 1997 incident, The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2cwjlUz ) reported.

“I never thought that something I would do 19, 20 years later would come back, and somebody would thank me,” Poole said.

Last month, Jones said he saw a photo of Poole on the police division’s Facebook page and recognized his name as the officer who pulled him from the bottom of a Columbus swimming pool when he was 5 years old. He commented, asking if the Poole in the picture might be the same officer.

He was then contacted by the division to organize a surprise reunion.

On Friday, Poole thought he was attending a discussion with the media about his role as a community liaison officer. Jones was waiting outside.

Both men were tearful as they recalled the incident in the summer of 1997. Jones, of New Albany, said he doesn’t remember all the details, but he knows he had been underwater for 15 or 20 minutes and that his heart stopped.

Jones had his daughter with him when he met Poole.

“Because of you, I’m still here,” Jones told Poole. “Because of you, this 5-year-old little girl right here is here.”