Sam’s Club recognizes Evanston police officer who saved young boy

Patrick Svitek, Reporter

An Evanston police officer has been honored again for rescuing a young boy from the Des Plaines River while off duty, a heroic act that has earned him accolades from the Chicago area to the nation’s capital.

The latest recognition came Wednesday morning from Sam’s Club, 2450 Main St., which named Sean O’Brien its Officer of the Month for April, Evanston Police Department said. The store gave O’Brien $500 to donate to a charity of his choice. He picked Autism Speaks, a national group that raises awareness for the disorder.

While driving home with his girlfriend about a year ago, O’Brien saw the 7-year-old boy chase a snowball into the river. O’Brien followed the child and jumped into the icy water to save him, all while off the clock. The boy’s mother later told O’Brien her son was autistic and could not swim.

The dramatic rescue has been praised by the City of Des Plaines, Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.  The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund plans to honor O’Brien and other recipients of its own Officer of the Month Award next year in Washington, D.C. 

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