The 13-year-old boy who fell 25 feet into a drainage pipe at L.A.’s Griffith Park on Easter Sunday is one smart cookie. Ryan connected with his stepdad Arturo on-air on Tuesday, April 3, and he revealed how Jesse Hernandez ultimately saved his own life.
Arturo was at work when Jesse joined his biological dad’s family for an Easter picnic at Griffith Park. Jesse and his cousins had run off to play when he fell through a wooden plank and plummeted 25 feet into the vast drainage system near the L.A. River. After hundreds of firefighters, police officers and urban search-and-rescue crews searched for more than 13 hours and overnight, Jesse was miraculously found alive and alert.
They found him after searching 2,400 feet of pipe when they opened a maintenance hatch to insert cameras after following a trail of handprints that Jesse had left.
“We were praying to God that everything would come out OK,” Arturo recalled to Ryan live On Air With Ryan Seacrest. “He was leaving marks so that's when they put the cameras inside they saw hand prints,” Arturo added of his stepson’s smart tactic which ultimately saved his life.
Jesse was brought to a local hospital for treatment and is now home.
“He’s fine just a couple bruises and scratches but he’s fine,” Arturo added. “He said it smells pretty bad [down there]. He was covering his mouth and nose with his clothes.”
As for what the teen told his parents after getting rescued? He was nervous about getting in trouble for losing his cellphone.
Cue the happy tears 😭