Utah officer goes out on a limb to rescue child trapped 40 feet above ground

Posted at 9:34 PM, May 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-25 23:34:45-04

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah -- Video captured the moments of desperation when a young boy got his foot stuck between two branches of a tree and couldn't get down.

Many were worried the branches were going to break and the boy would fall to the cement.

A parent called 911, and a Saratoga Springs Police Officer literally jumped into action.

“When I got there the kid was at the top of the tree,” said Officer Derek Dalton of the Saratoga Springs Police Department. “That was a lot higher than I expected.”

The boy was nearly 40 feet up, stuck in the tree.

“He was at the very top, I mean, you couldn't have went any further,” Officer Dalton said.

Overlooking the rooftops, this was the view an 11-year-old boy had of his Saratoga Springs neighborhood while he was clinging onto the branches atop of a sycamore tree.

Meanwhile, a little girl shot cell phone video from the ground. It showed the boy struggling to get down. Her mom, Angela Clausing, was the one who called police.

“He was screaming for help,” Clausing said. “It was pretty windy, and the tree was going like this and we could hear the branches cracking a little bit.”

That wind had Officer Dalton worried too.

“His foot was stuck and the tree was making cracking noises, and he was afraid to move,” Dalton said.

That's when Dalton knew it was time to go out on a limb to get the boy.

“Grabbing onto this tree branch here, and then hopping up and going straight up,” said Dalton as he showed us the tree he had to climb to reach the boy.

“He knew he was beyond his limits, so at that time I was able to get his foot out of the middle of the crook there,” Dalton said.

Then he helped the boy down each branch until finally he got to the ground.

“I think he was a little nervous, of course he had been up there 15-20 minutes; that’s a long time to be stuck,” Dalton said.

The neighborhood is grateful for Officer Dalton.

“It was nice, it was amazing," Clausing said. "It was funny, too, we call him the officer monkey."

And it was a tree-mendous rescue.

“Fortunately I was just in the area at the right time,” Dalton said. “It was pretty good, took me back to my childhood.”