Chief Joseph O’Connor
219 Walden Street
P.O. Box 519
Concord, MA 01742
For Immediate Release
Monday, July 17, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Concord Police and Fire Respond to Near-Drowning at Walden Pond
Off-Duty Arlington Officer Saves Life after Second Water Incident in 24 Hours
CONCORD — Chief Joseph O’Connor reports that the Concord Police and Fire Departments responded earlier today to Walden Pond after a 70-year-old man nearly drowned. Chief O’Connor is now praising the fast actions of off-duty Arlington Police Officer Matthew Riley, who was visiting the pond with his children and pulled the man to safety.
Around 9 a.m. Monday, Concord Police, Fire and EMS were dispatched to Walden Pond for a report of a possible drowning. Upon arrival, rescuers found that the man had been brought out of the water and was conscious and breathing.
Witnesses at the scene reported that the victim had gone under the water and failed to surface and that Officer Riley immediately jumped into the water, swam out to where the man was last seen, and brought him back to the surface.
“Officer Riley’s actions are in line with the best practices of law enforcement, and he is to be commended for saving a life here today,” Chief O’Connor said. “He took immediate action when he noticed another in danger, and we are very fortunate that he was in the right place at the right time.”
The victim was taken to Emerson Hospital for evaluation.
“Officer Riley’s heroic actions truly represent the mission and values of the Arlington Police Department and the mantra shared among all police officers that we are never truly off duty,” said Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan. “In this case, he fell back on his training and experience and took immediate action to save a life that was in imminent danger.”
This was the second emergency at Walden Pond in less than 24 hours. A 28-year-old man drowned while swimming in the pond on Sunday afternoon. That incident is under investigation by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, and foul play is not suspected.