The deputy stomped to break through the ice and work his way deeper, pounding with his hands and fists.

“As the ice got thicker, I couldn’t break it with my arms and my fists anymore, so I had to jump up on top of the ice, putting my weight on it, and then pound on it to get it to break,” he said.

When he went into the water, his toes brushed against reeds growing on the bottom of the pond and water reached his neck.