Mystery runner helps save Homewood mayor from frozen lake

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Homewood Mayor Rich Hofeld says he was saved a good Samaritan after Hofeld fell through thin ice on a lake while trying to save his dog. | File photo

A mystery good Samaritan helped save Homewood’s 80-year-old mayor who fell through thin ice on a lake while trying to save his dog.

Mayor Richard Hofeld said he was walking his dogs with his wife on Sunday when one dog fell into the lake at Izaak Walton Preserve.

Hofeld had left his cellphone in his vehicle and couldn’t call for help. He said he fell into the lake while lifting his 100-pound dog out of the water, but he couldn’t save himself.

“Every time I tried to get up onto the ice, the ice broke and I went under,” he said. “I was just treading water.”

Hofeld said a man jogging by called 911 and then created a makeshift rope using his shirt and the couple’s jackets. The man was trying to pull Hofeld out of the water when emergency responders arrived.

Hofeld said the jogger left the scene before anyone could get his name.

“He really saved my life. I don’t know what we would have done had he not shown up,” he said.

Divers rescued Hofeld. Officials said he had been in the freezing water for about 20 minutes.

Hofeld was taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated for hypothermia and minor scrapes and bruises. He was kept overnight for observation.

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