Teenagers honored for helping man who was missing
by BRIAN NADIG
The 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District recently honored five teenagers who came to the aid of a 64-year-old man who was disoriented and had been reported missing for 15 hours.
Certificates of recognition were awarded to Johnny Waterloo, Francis Zagotta, Patrick Heisler, Angel Mohammed and Carlos Ramirez.
District commander Maureen Biggane praised the 13-year-olds for demonstrating "sound judgment" and thanked their parents.
"They did the right thing because you taught them to do the right thing," Biggane said at the July 18 meeting of the 16th District Advisory Committee. "What makes the 16th great is we have a great sense of community."
The teenagers were playing baseball at about 8 p.m. Friday, June 15, in a field near Cumberland and Belmont avenues when they noticed the man had passed out, according to police. The man was not easily visible due to the tall grass, police said. The youths eventually got the man to one of their homes, and officers were called.
The man was considered a "high-risk" missing person due to his health conditions, and his life could have been endangered if the youths had not take action, Biggane said.
Members of the man’s family thanked the youths and gave them baseballs and a gift card to a sporting goods store. Alderman Nicholas Sposato (38th) also attended the ceremony and congratulated the youths.
Commander Biggane also honored officer Anne Belluomini for her role in the search of the missing man.