Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 | 3:56 p.m.
State Sen. Mark Manendo rescued a 14-year-old boy Wednesday evening from a flooded Henderson wash in the middle of a thunderstorm.
Manendo discovered a boy named Anthony about 5:30 p.m. stranded on a boulder in the middle of a wash at Stephanie Street and Jimmy Durante Boulevard. He was supposed to be on his way to an event, but on a whim, he decided to visit the wash to take photos of the flooding from the torrential rain.
When he spotted Anthony soaked and shivering on the boulder, his heart raced. The rising rapids below the boy sent branches, shoes and other pieces of detritus hurtling toward the embankment of cements and rocks.
Manendo had lived in the area for four decades; he knew what would happen if Anthony fell.
“I was thinking this is just not a good situation,” Manendo said. “If he falls, it could be over.”
Manendo shouted over the rapids to make sure Anthony was OK, and then retrieved some rope to toss at him. His plan was to have Anthony hold on to the rope so that if he were to fall, he could pull him out.
His first throw missed. His second almost caused Anthony to slip and fall, but he caught it. Manendo had Anthony tie it around his waist and then told him to wait. Soon more people arrived and Manendo and another man were able to form a chain to rescue Anthony from the boulder.
Once on dry land, Manendo hugged Anthony, thankful he was safe. Manendo said Anthony simply told him he was out on the rock “being stupid,” and didn’t seem to understand the danger of falling into a wash during a flood. Last year, three people in the Las Vegas Valley died from drowning in washes.
“I said, ‘Did you not want to see your 15th birthday?’” Manendo said. “He looked at me. I said two people died last year from the floods … His eyes got big. I don’t think he remembered last year.”
Manendo said he was just glad more people showed up, and that they were able to get to the boy before the wash did.
“It just shows you how the community comes together in times of crisis,” Manendo said.