CHICAGO — A mystery good Samaritan helped save an 80-year-old Illinois mayor who fell through thin ice on a lake while trying to save his dog.
Homewood Mayor Richard Hofeld said he was walking his dogs with his wife on Sunday in the southern Chicago suburb when one dog fell into the partially frozen lake at Izaak Walton Preserve.
Hofeld had left his cellphone in his vehicle and couldn’t call for help. He said he fell into the lake while lifting his 100-pound dog out of the water, but he couldn’t save himself.
“Every time I tried to get up onto the ice, the ice broke and I went under,” he said. “I was just treading water.”
Hofeld said a man jogging by called 911 and then created a makeshift rope using his shirt and the couple’s jackets. The man was trying to pull Hofled out of the water when emergency responders arrived.
Hofled said the jogger left the scene before anyone could get his name.
“He really saved my life. I don’t know what we would have done had he not shown up,” he said.
Divers rescued Hofled. Officials said he had been in the freezing water for about 20 minutes.
Hofled was taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated for hypothermia and minor scrapes and bruises. He was held overnight for observation.