A paddle boat, with its rear submerged under the water, is what caught his eye.
It was Friday, around 5:45 p.m. There were two boys wearing life jackets and two adults with them in the boat. When Peter Bradley called out asking if everyone could swim, one of those adults said that yes, everyone could.
That’s when one of the adults got out and tried to swim along with the boat. A second later, one of the boys followed.
And that’s when the boat flipped, sending a 4-year-old boy and 56-year-old man into the water.
From the backyard of his home along Knapp Lake in Noble County, Bradley, a corporal and 13-year-veteran of the Indiana State Police, sprang into action. Today, police officials say those actions may have saved another man’s life.
After the boat flipped, the 4- year-old boy sprang up out of the water and seemed fine.
It was a different story for Randall James Nicodemus, of Cromwell, who at first came up out of the water but then began to struggle. Then he went back under.
Bradley immediately jumped into the lake and swam 50 yards toward the boat, according to police, where he found Nicodemus 3 to 4 feet below the surface of the water. He may have been there 10 or 20 seconds, Bradley later told investigators, and he was holding onto the 4-year-old to survive.
Grabbing Nicodemus, Bradley pulled him to the surface before swimming him back to shore. The other adult and the two boys were able to swim themselves to shore.
Nicodemus was taken to a hospital in Goshen for treatment.
Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating the incident, and police believe alcohol was a factor in what happened.