Scout chief saves boy from gator
Ed Faynor (EDFAYNOR@AOL.COM)
Fri, 26 Jul 1996 10:20:49 -0400
>From the Poughkeepsie Journal 7/26/96
SCOUT CHIEF SAVES BOY FROM GATOR
Laurence Montalto didn t stop to think about the Boy Scout Motto
"Be Prepared" when he saw a boy fall from his bicycle into the
jaws of an alligator. Rather, Montalto, a Scout leader from
Rhinebeck (NY) acted on the premise.
While visiting Everglades National Park in Florida with a group
of Scouts on July 13, Montalto helped save the life of a 7-year -old
Montalto and co-leader Jane Santini had taken six Rhinebeck Scouts
in Troop 228 to Florida to become certified as scuba divers. Santini
said the group stopped off at Everglades Park on its way to the
National High Adventure Camp on Islamorada Key, Florida. The
two leaders and the scouts where all present when the alligator
" I m proud of Larry for saving the boy s life,"said Santini.
" I m recommending him for a heroism award. Its wonderful the
boys got to see the value of our training. Being prepared is our motto."
Santini said the Brazilian boy , Alexandre Teixeira, was riding a
rented bicycle on a trail when he saw the 7-foot alligator. " He
panicked and drove his bike right into the canal atop the animal,"
she said. "The alligator grabbed him around the chest."
Montalto heard the splash and the boy s hysteric yells. The mother
jumped into the canal to save the boy. Montalto followed.
"When the alligator went under water with the boy , he
apparently opened his mouth to get a better grip," said Montalto.
"That s when I grabbed the boy and pulled him free."
Montalto and the boy s father, Helio, were credited by authorities
with saving Alexandre.
Montalto gave first aid to the boy and his mother before the pair
was airlifted by helicopter to a nearby hospital.
" I got my first aid training at Northern Dutchess
Hospital in Rhinebeck with my Scouts," he said. " It really came
Santini said the boy suffered punctures of the lung as well as
other puncture wounds and abrasions. His mother was
hospitalized briefly for hand puncture wounds.
"These Boy Scouts and leaders were in the right spot at the
right time to give service to others," said Dick Trier, Scout
executive for the Hudson Valley Council. "We commend
Larry Montalto for his fine leadership and responsiveness in
what could have been a far more serious situation if he and
the Scouts weren t present."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City