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NJ Boy, 3, Hailed As Hero After Hearing Injured Neighbor’s Plea For Help

Ethan Sojka Alerted His Dad To Cries Of Dale Cottrell, Who Is Recovering
Ethan Sojka (credit: CBS 2)

Ethan Sojka (credit: CBS 2)

BAYVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A little boy in New Jersey doesn’t have to look far to find his next action hero.

He’s considered a hero himself, after helping to save a neighbor who had fallen outside in the cold.

As CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reported Friday, the boy’s quick thinking and good hearing has made his family proud.

Ethan Sojka of Bayville is a life saver.

“He’s my little lover, you know,” Bonnie Sojka, the boy’s mother, told CBS 2’s Dennis.

Rolling around and playing one morning earlier this month, the 3-year-old heard a voice outside his window.

His 67-year-old neighbor, Dale Cottrell, was hurt while cutting down a tree in his yard damaged by Hurricane Sandy and was calling for help.

It’s a tree Cottrell’s wife warned him not to tackle alone.

“I said ‘What were you thinking, you were told to wait.’ My son was gonna help and everything, but he couldn’t wait,” said Melanie Cottrell.

And Ethan’s dad said his son couldn’t help but overhear.

In the playroom of his house, Ethan heard the cries for help coming from across the street. His neighbor had not only fallen, he was freezing on the ground in pain.

“He came running out saying ‘Daddy, daddy, somebody saying help help help,'” said Jack Sojka, the boy’s father.

The boy’s father immediately went outside to look and found his neighbor laying in between tree stumps.

Cottrell, a grandfather, had broken ribs, two cracked vertebrae and a dislocated elbow, but is on the mend.

Little Ethan said he is glad his neighbor is better now.

“We teach him to respect and love everybody, so to hear somebody say ‘help me.’ He probably wouldn’t hesitate again to do it,” said the boy’s mother.

Ethan’s neighbor will be coming home on Monday after spending two weeks in the hospital and rehab.

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