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Woman Saves Falling Toddler

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Mon, July 2 2012 at 6:31 PM, Updated: Mon, July 2 2012 at 10:09 PM

It was a moment of terror around 10AM on Sunday.

"I heard a scream I looked around and I saw a boy," said Kristen Beach.

The little boy was hanging roughly 25-feet from the ground, clinging to the ledge of the old bread building across from Alba Park in Medford.

"I dropped everything and ran as fast and I could," said Beach

"I was terrified," she added.

Beach said she has her own two-year-old and her instincts kicked in.

"I was like i'm going to catch this kid," began Beach.

"I stood under like this and I was just waiting for him to fall [...] I said it's okay baby, I'll catch you if you fall and he was crying, tears running down his face," she recalled.

Just minutes after she arrived, he let go and fell roughly twenty-five feet and into her arms.

Beach said when she looked up and saw that two-year-old boy dangling from the ledge, it was like seeing her own son.

"He had blonde hair like my son and the same red shirt," Beach said.

Police arrested and charged the two-year-old's mother, 22-year-old Amelia Smith with two counts of child neglect among others.

Responding police she appeared to have been sleeping when it happened. The apartment unit is located above the commercial building.

However, Kristen Beach, who lives across the street, said this wasn't the first time she's seen the little boy -- who she calls Freddy -- on the roof. She said about a month ago she saw him looking over the edge and she called police.

Officials at the Medford Police Department confirm they have been called to residence before with reports of a child on the roof. Lieutenant Mike Budreau said they notified children's services about the incident.

Today, safety concerns brought Medford Fire out to inspect the building.

"If there is roof access, there should be a guardrail," said Fire Marshal Greg Kleinberg.

Meantime, neighbors and family are breathing a sigh of relief, calling beach their own hero. Beach said she's been hearing that a lot, but she said she was just in the right place at the right time.

The two-year-old is okay. Police said there was also a 9-month old inside the apartment who may have been exposed to a potentially harmful substance on the floor.           

Tonight the mother is out on bail but the children are with other family.

When Beach caught the falling child, her cell phone fell to the ground and her screen broke. But just one day later, and she said her company is replacing her phone free of charge.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

Connect with Christine

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