2 Okarche Boys Honored For Keeping Toddler Safe
OKARCHE, Oklahoma - The Okarche Police Department honored two young boys recently for their heroic actions to save a toddler.
It was back in April when Boston Kremeier and Austin Burhenn were riding their bikes along 2nd Street in front of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church and saw something they weren't expecting.
“We told him to stop right about where Boston is standing,” said 9-year-old Austin Burhenn as he recounted what happened on April 27 at the corner of 2nd Street and Missouri Avenue in Okarche.
It was there where they found a 3-year-old boy, barefoot, dirty and all alone. They stopped him from running into traffic.
“Once the car passed, he ran,” said Austin. “Like he ran fast.”
The lost boy had wandered off a couple blocks away from home.
“I think our first thought was someone dropped him off and so we were like really scared,” said 10-year-old Boston Kremeier.
But the two friends put their fears aside and jumped on their bikes and followed the little boy, never letting him out of their sight. They eventually found an adult near the church to call 911 and the boys stayed with the toddler until police arrived.
“There was a like a big grass area, and he kept running around and stuff until the cops got there,” said Austin.
Okarche Police Officer Cruz Holguin was first on the scene.
“As soon as we found him, we picked him up, put him in the vehicle made sure he was OK because that's the first thing I checked because it was really hot that day,” said Holguin. “It could have ended up being pretty bad.”
With the boy finally safe in police custody, officers canvassed the area and eventually reunited him with his family.
“We love the fact that they stopped, and they noticed,” Holguin said. “They went and checked around to see if the parents were there and they realized they weren't.”
And for that, the department didn't want their efforts to go unnoticed. So, they honored Boston and Austin as outstanding citizens in a ceremony last week at the police station. For their service, OPD awarded the two each with a certificate of recognition, a medal, commemorative coin and a police patch.
“It's a real metal coin,” Boston said, showing off his awards. “This says professional, community, integrity.”
When asked if they felt like heroes, they both said “yeah.”
And they even have a message for others.
“If you see like a three or 2-year-old, you probably need to stop,” Boston said.
Due to their quick actions, the boy was returned to his family unharmed.