Man who doesn't know how to swim rescues boy from pool at La Quinta Inn in Fairfield

Police say a Pennsylvania man who doesn't know how to swim jumped into the deep end of a pool at an Essex County hotel and rescued a boy from drowning.

Fairfield police say a Paterson woman and her male companion were in the pool at the La Quinta Inn on Thursday with her five children, who range in age from 1 to 9. Police say none knew how to swim, and the 9-year-old went under water.

The companion ran to the front desk for help. Police say 37-year-old Randolph Tajada-Perez, of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, was checking in. Tajada-Perez, who himself doesn't know how to swim, jumped into the pool and after several attempts was able to reach the child.

Police say that when first responders arrived, the boy already received CPR and had a pulse and was breathing on his own.

The boy was taken to St. Joseph's Medical Center and is said to be doing OK.

Police are calling Tajada-Perez a "hero guest."

"Anyone who has a fear of water and is not comfortable swimming can truly appreciate the bravery displayed by this hero guest, who conquered his own fears to save the young life of another. All of us at the police department are extremely proud of him," Fairfield Police Chief Anthony Manna said in a statement.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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