Man dies after being pulled from Castleton pond trying to save dog

Photo: IFD
Man drowns trying to save dog in Castleton
Man dies trying to save dog
Man dies trying to save dog

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Two Indianapolis men risked their own lives to save a stranger, after that man’s dog fell into an iced-over retention pond. It happened right around noon at the Masters Apartments near Castleton on the city’s northeast side.

Scott Filchak was leaving the complex when he saw the man in distress.

"I see a dog in the water and the man on the ice, so I throw (my car) into park and just run out there and he falls in," Filchak said. "I slide onto the ice. I try to pull myself up as much as I can and it starts to break."

Meroune Baoch, another resident who was out walking his own dog, heard the commotion when he saw FIlchak asking for help.

"He was on his chest trying to help the other guy. The guy was moving a lot and he was asking for help, so the only thing I thought was to jump in and try to help, but the ice was so thin," Baoch said.

Ficlchak said he tried to swim to the man, but he was up against the ice and couldn't "feel my legs doing anything…I thought if I go under, I could grab him and pull him out, but knew if I went in over my head, I probably wasn't going to come back."

Both men had called 911. Within 15 minutes of arriving, IFD divers found the man 30 feet from shore, 15 feet down and the water temperature was 37 degrees. Medics started CPR as the man was taken to St. Vincent Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Baoch said he and Filchak did everything they could to help before firefighters arrived with apartment workers assisting.

"All the workers, they brought rope, it was short," Baoch said. "I threw it and (the victim) said 'I'm drowning! I'm drowning!' and he just went (underwater). He didn’t make it. I tried. It was so cold."

The man's dog made it out of the water and to shore on its own.

As of late afternoon, the victim had not been identified.

Both Baoch and Filchak were checked by medics at the scene and went to a nearby hospital on their own for further evaluation.

Courtesy: Indianapolis Fire Department