BRADENTON, Fla. — Manatee County deputies saved a homeless man who was stuck in a creek for two days last month. On Wednesday, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office released body camera footage, and the deputies involved shared their accounts of what happened.

What You Need To Know

  • Deputies received a 911 call about screams coming from the woods

  • They found a man stuck in a creek

  • He had been there for two days

Deputies say they were called on November 18th around 1:30 a.m. to 57th Avenue and 15th Street East in Bradenton. A woman heard someone screaming from the woods across the street.

The deputies started following the screams through the woods and eventually found the man in Bowlees Creek. Deputies say he is homeless and he went into the creek to bathe – but a leg injury kept him from getting out.

He had been stuck there for two days and was in the early stages of hypothermia.

“The guy was in pretty bad shape. He was freezing. He was starving. He was literally shaking everywhere he was so cold,” Deputy Tara Burge said.

It wasn’t a pretty sight.

“He had big pieces of skin coming off of his feet and his legs were blue,” Deputy Brittany Carannante recalled.

The spot where he was stuck is not accessible by vehicle, so Deputy Dwight Roberts picked the man up and carried him across his shoulders up the steep side of the creek. Deputies say a neighbor brought out a blanket, and that’s how they carried the man about 250 yards. Someone brought over a wheelchair for the final stretch to the ambulance. 

“I’m glad somebody heard him, and we found him. And hopefully he’s doing good,” Deputy Burge said.

Sheriff Rick Wells says the man is doing fine. He says their department’s homeless outreach deputy has seen him a few times since, and he always says how thankful he is for the deputies who saved his life.

“It was just so many people that were involved that really, honestly, each piece was just as important as the other,” said Deputy Carannante.