Former South Florida resident saves man in Boston explosions
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) -- A picture of a hero wearing a cowboy hat went viral after he rushed to rescue one of the victims of the marathon bombing in Boston. The man once made headlines in South Florida as well.
Carlos Arredondo held a bloody American flag. His hands and body still shook. He appeared to be in a daze after what he had just witnessed.
He was the man wearing the cowboy hat helping a victim, Monday. "There was so many people begging me for help," said Arredondo.
He was at the Boston Marathon handing out American flags in honor of his son Alexander, who lost his life in Iraq back in 2004.
That story began in South Florida where the family lived in a Hollywood home. That's when Marine Corps officers showed up to the home to give him the terrible news that his son had passed. That's when Arredondo did the unthinkable, setting the family's van on fire, making headlines. "The next thing I knew," said Arredondo, "they threw me out to the street, and I was on fire."
Now Arredondo made headlines once again. He was across the street from where the first bomb went off.
He didn't even flinch. He could be seen in footage wearing the hat running immediately towards the blast. "There was blood on the floor," said Arredondo. "Blood everywhere on the floor and a bunch of people packed on the floor, and all you see was people without limbs. I mean ripped off limbs everywhere. Everywhere."
Then he saw a man who had both of his legs blown off. "The gentleman that I helped," said Arredondo. "I concentrated working on him by putting a couple of pieces of T-shirt that I ripped off and put on the legs. He had a big fire going off on his shirt."
Shrapnel burned through his shirt. "I just concentrated on that young man," said Arredondo. "I tied up his legs and talked to him. He was conscious and I let him know that the ambulance was on it's way, and he was going to be OK, that nothing happened."
In the mist of all that chaos, Arredondo was a voice of reason. The voice of someone who deeply understood loss and pain. The voice of a true hero who fittingly, that day, decided to wear a cowboy hat.
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