Sheriff's deputy goes beyond job duties for near drowning call of 3-year-old

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(3TV/CBS 5) -

After only eight months on the job, and at only 22 years old, Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputy Christian Kaufman got an emergency call that changed his life.

“My mind was in a whirlwind, I didn’t know what to think. My heart was broken,” said Kaufman.

He got to the scene of a near drowning in Queen Creek last Saturday. Three-year-old Noah Chapman was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, and Deputy Kaufman followed the ambulance to the trauma room. He was the first person to see Noah’s mom and dad.

[READ MORE: 3-year-old boy found unresponsive in pool in Queen Creek]

“I turned around and saw this dad standing over his kid…unable to do anything for his kid anymore,” said Kaufman.

That’s when this emergency call became much more.

“I needed to be a deputy, but I also needed to be a human being,” said Kaufman.

Kaufman shares the same faith as Noah’s family, and he was asked if he would be part of a prayer over the 3-year-old’s bed.

“We helped with a blessing. I felt the little boy’s hair in my hand and that was a moment that touched me big time,” said Kaufman.

The deputy was so touched that he created a GoFundMe page to help take the financial burden off the family. He’s raised $2,000. And though Noah doesn’t know who he is, he hopes one day Noah will.

 “I love you buddy. That’s what I would tell him. I just want what’s best for him,” said Kaufman.

Link to GoFundMe page: gofundme.com/noah-chapman

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Briana WhitneyBriana Whitney joined CBS 5/3TV in February 2018, and is no stranger to the sunshine and heat!

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Briana Whitney

She’s from Northern California, but prior to coming to Phoenix, she reported at KIII-TV in Corpus Christi, TX for three years.

During her time in South Texas, she reported on several national stories. Some of the most memorable were the 2015 Wimberley floods, reporting for eight hours off the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017, and reporting from the church shooting in Sutherland Springs in November of 2017.

Her general assignment reporting won her two Associated Press awards, six EMMA awards, and one Emmy nomination for a half-hour special she wrote, produced and hosted on the issue of child pornography.

Briana graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and during college had seven different internships at several news stations.

When she isn’t chasing breaking news or working on a feature story, Briana loves checking out the best restaurants in the Valley, and hiking or rollerblading around town. Briana is very happy to have made Arizona home!

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