Officer Aaron Cooper’s eyes scanned the pitch-black water reflecting the night sky, desperately looking for any sign of the woman believed to be trying to drown herself.
About 50 yards out from Lake Arlington’s shoreline, he was able to see the figure, struggling. Without a moment of hesitation, he removed his gun belt, his vest and his shirt and waded into the water, his eyes set on the woman, police said.
Body camera videos from other Arlington officers that captured the Sept. 17 incident show him standing in the water with the woman in his arms, walking backward. He dragged her to the shore as officers hurriedly rushed up to the pair.
“You got her?” a female officer can be heard shouting.
“Yeah,” Cooper shouts back from the water.
He later emerged from the water with the woman, and the other officers help carried her to the shore. They could be heard saying she’s “conscious and breathing.”
The female officer, as she helps the woman, says sympathetically, “Come on, honey.” And a male officer eventually radios that the fire department can cancel its boat.
The woman was transported to a hospital and then a mental health facility, police said.
And later, in the wake of the averted tragedy, police said she thanked the officers.
“She is doing fine and posted on social media a thank you for saving her life,” Lt. Christopher Cook said.
The department is applauding Cooper’s efforts and the efforts of the other responding officers.
The officers not only made efforts to save her life, but had to find her when others were worried for her safety, police said.
The woman was reported as missing around 7 p.m. on Sept. 17. Cooper called her phone and left her a voicemail, and she later called him back, though it was difficult to understand her, police said.
He determined she was possibly at the lake and drove to the body of water to try to find her.
Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson tweeted about the rescue Friday morning, writing the officers prevented a suicidal drowning and using the hashtag #TrueHeroism.