Teen Saves Toddler From Third Story Fall

"I don't really care about being a hero, I'm just happy he is safe," -Austin Konopacki.

A Jackson teen saved a toddler falling from a third-story window at an apartment complex on Thursday. The 18-year-old says he had never held a baby before but his first time was nothing short of a miracle.

"He finally fell and I just reached my arms out and I happened to catch him," said Austin Konopacki, as he stood outside the apartment building where he made the lifesaving catch.

Looking up at the broken screen left in the window, the teen says he's still in shock that he caught the falling toddler.

"It's kind of amazing, I mean he didn't knock me over or anything," Konopacki added.

Konopacki first noticed a toddler in the third floor window while he was working on a manhole in the building's parking lot.

"The little boy was just pushing on the screen about the entire time and he was talking to us and playing like Marco Polo and he was real cute and just smiling at us," Konopacki recalled.

But what started off as curiosity, took a turn for the worst.

Even though Konopacki had finished work for the day, he says he had a nagging feeling the baby might be in danger. So he decided to wait in the parking lot after a co-worker left, and that's when he heard the crack.

"The screen just fell out and was dangling there and the baby was just dangling over the window sill," Konopacki said. "The fear in his eyes, I just felt so bad."

Konopacki says it's lucky he was standing so close. He had just enough time to run over when he saw the child dangling head first from the window.

With a pile of cement blocks on the ground under the window, any action needed to be fast.

The teen says the 1-year-old hung there for almost a minute before he fell into Konopacki's outstretched arms.

"He fell straight down and hit his head on the wall coming down," Konopacki explained.

Police say it's an injury that could have been much worse.

"He would have had some serious injuries, potentially fatal injuries if he [Konopacki] wouldn't have been there to catch him," said Lt. Elmer Hitt with the Jackson Police Department.

As for the recent high school graduate, he's just happy he was in the right place at the right time.

"I don't really care about being a hero, I'm just happy he is safe," Konopacki said.

The toddler was treated at Allegiance Health for some minor injuries.


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