Soldiers honored for saving child
Sgt. Dustin Gautney
2HBCT Public Affairs
Two Soldiers from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, Third Infantry Division were recognized during a ceremony held at Hunter Army Airfield for their actions of pursuing a fleeing suspect and leading to the safe return of a child.
Responding to a call for help, Spc. Joshua Layton and Spc. Bryan Scott, both with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, 3rd CAB, came upon local resident, Patricia Pacheco just moments after her car was stolen, along with her 3-year-old granddaughter in it.
"I have a seven-year-old little girl, and I told the lady we were going to get her kid back," said Spc. Layton.
Specialist Layton and Spc. Scott pursued the stolen vehicle until the suspect stopped the car, unbuckled the child from her car seat, set her down in the parking lot and walked away.
Observing this, Spc. Scott remained with the child while Spc. Layton followed the suspect, reporting the details to police via cell phone. "I guess the Army training kicks in. Instinct took over and we didn't hesitate," explained Spc. Layton.
After realizing he was being followed, the suspect took off running with Spc. Layton behind him. After scrambling through the apartment complex and over a fence, Spc. Layton lost sight of the fleeing suspect.
"He went over the fence first, quite spectacularly," remembered Spc. Layton. "I got over as fast as I could, had a little stumble."
While the suspect did evade pursuit, both Spc. Layton and Spc. Scott were thankful they were able to reunite the child with her Family.
Specialist Scott said it was one of the best feelings he’s ever had, “seeing the granddaughter stop crying when she saw her grandmother”.
For their actions, the Soldiers were honored with the Citizen Commendation from Savannah-Chatham Metro Police and the Army Commendation Medal.
Colonel Allan Pepin, commander, 3rd CAB, stated that both Spc. Scott and Spc. Layton were great examples of how Soldiers live the Army values both on and off duty.
“This is another great example of the high quality of Americans we have serving in our Army and the Third Infantry Division,” Col. Pepin said. “Selfless service and sacrifice - not for personal recognition, but to assist fellow Soldiers, coalition forces and their communities. Warriors in both combat and garrison, who live the Army Values both on and off duty.”