Cop heard teen tried to save pal before sinking
parker » One of the two teenage boys who died after falling into an icy retention pond earlier this month perished trying to keep his friend afloat.
Officer Trey Biles said he was told Patric Lantz was working to save Max Gantnier, who couldn’t swim, in the moments before the two slipped beneath the water’s murky surface in Parker.
“You’re pulling out kids that feel frozen,” Biles said after a Thursday news conference at which he recounted being the first to arrive at the Jan. 14 accident. “There’s no real way to articulate that emotionally. It’s all over the place.”
Biles said hewas told of Patric’s heroic efforts by family members of the three who fell into the pond. Cole Robinson survived after Biles pulled him to safety with a 15- foot aspen branch he found
while running to the scene.
“Hewas the one who gave everything every day, the one that sacrificed himself for someone else’s boy,” Patric’s father wrote in a remembrance of his son.
Biles said Cole was the only teen visible when he arrived at the water’s edge.
“I truly believe that one of the more heroic things that I’ve ever seen is Cole grabbing onto that branch because he had no dexterity in his hands,” a sometimes emotional Biles told reporters. “He was able to grab it with his forearms and get pulled up onto shore.”
According to Biles, 15year- old Max and 16- yearold Patric were nowhere to be found as he rescued Cole. The officer said he was confused because dispatchers had told him to look for three boys.
“I kept asking Cole where everybody was,” Biles recounted. “He kept just saying repeatedly, ‘ They’re gone. They’re gone. They’ve been in the water too long.’ ”
Patric died after being removed from the pond after roughly 35 minutes. Max, who was in the water for about 15 minutes, was in critical condition for more than 10 days before he died Monday.
Cole was released from medical care the night of the accident, but doctors say he was on the verge of serious injury, even death. Police say Cole’s core temperature was only a degree warmer than that of his friend Max.
All three boys were sophomores at nearby Legend High School.
A frantic 911 call from a teen girl who saw the three boys— her classmates— in the water also captured some of the chaos.
At the time of the call, she could see one boy — presumably Cole — barely keeping his head above water, but she had seen all three teens in the pond moments earlier.
“I see him trying to get out,” she said. “I see stuff floating, and I can only see one guy. I see a coat floating. One of them is actually in my class.”
Police say they still don’t know exactly why the boys were on the ice, but said they were likely just kids being kids. One neighbor told The Denver Post she saw the three boys heading down to the pond and sliding around on its frozen surface.
Police Chief David King says in the wake of the deaths, his department has ordered 75 rope devices to place in patrol cars in case of another ice rescue.
Parker police have been called to several other reports of people on ice since the day Patric, Max and Cole fell into the pond.
“We have kids on the ice every single day,” Biles said. “I have been to calls with kids from the same school on ice days after this happened.”
Biles added that he’s been yelling a lot more when he responds to such situations. He urged greater awareness and education about the dangers of thin ice.
Parker officials say they are thankful there wasn’t a third death, and they lauded the actions of emergency responders.
At a memorial service for Patric on Tuesday, friends and family remembered the rugby- playing boy sometimes called “Patch.” Next week, Max, who loved reading and the color green, will be remembered at a service of his own.
“We’re in the process of healing,” Mayor Mike Waid said.
Parker police Officer Trey Biles used a tree branch to save a teenage boy during an ice rescue in Parker.