Fairfield police say a Paterson woman and a male companion were in the pool at the La Quinta Inn on Thursday with her five children, who range in ages from 1 to 9. Police say none knew how to swim, and the 9-year-old went under water.
The companion ran to the front desk, where police say 37-year-old Randolph Tajada-Perez, of Hazleton, was checking in. Tajada-Perez, who doesn't know how to swim, jumped into the pool, and after several attempts, reached the child.
"A near fatal drowning of a 9-year-old boy was averted because of the quick actions of a hotel guest," Police Chief Anthony Manna said.
The boy is in stable condition.
"Anyone who has a fear of water and is not comfortable swimming can truly appreciate the bravery displayed by this hero guest, who conquered his own fears to save the young life of another," Manna said. "All of us at the police department are extremely proud of him."
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)