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Homeless man saves teenager with autism from creek: ‘He was in a tight spot’

A homeless man saved a teenager, who has autism, from drowning last Thursday in Oregon.
A homeless man saved a teenager, who has autism, from drowning last Thursday in Oregon. Compassion Highway Project / Facebook

A homeless man is being hailed a hero after rescuing a teenager after he found himself stuck in a creek last week.

Bobby Mitchell was at Hawthorne Park in Medford, Ore., on Thursday night when he heard screams coming from a body of water nearby.

Without hesitation, Mitchell jumped to help.

“I don’t know how he got where he was at, but I heard him scream and I hopped the fence to see where he was,” Mitchell told News 10. “He was in a tight spot, but I got him.”

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Once he got a hold of the teenager, who has autism, he called 911 and then contacted Melissa Mayne, who founded local charity Compassion Highway Project.

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“You might not have met this man but you should. His name is Bob Mitchell,” a post on the organization’s Facebook page reads. “Tonight he heard screaming and scaled the wall by the water pumping station part of Bear Creek and found this autistic young man drowning.

“If he would not have risked himself and pulled this kid out of the water and called 911, the boy would have died.”

Compassion Highway Project helps feed and provide resources for the homeless in Southern Oregon, according to their website. Mitchell has had a longtime friendship with Mayne.

“Bob contacted me to hurry over because I know the young man that was stuck in the water,” Mayne told News 10. “He asked me to bring a change of clothes and a blanket because he had just pulled the boy from the water and was worried.”

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The teen was checked out by paramedics before being cleared to go home.

“I am so thankful he heard him screaming and risked his own life by jumping in the creek at night. If he didn’t do what he did, it could’ve been a whole different outcome,” she said.

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meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca