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Friday, April 17, 2015

Host Helps Rescue Child From Cheetah Exhibit


Matt Fantone, a co-host on the WRQK/Canton morning show, helped save the lives of a two-year-old boy and his parents this past weekend, when the family found themselves stuck inside of a live cheetah exhibit at the Cleveland Zoo.

Michelle Schwab of Delaware, Ohio, was at the zoo with her son and husband. She held her son up over a barrier of the wild cats area but lost her grip on the child, dropping him approximately 10 feet into the pit. The boy's mother and father then climbed in after him, but could not get out. Fantone, who was visiting the zoo with his girlfriend, heard the screams of witnesses and ran over to help. He convinced Schwab to hand the boy up to him to safety. With the help of Schwab's husband and a zoo official, he then lifted the mother to safety. The father could not reach or jump high enough to get out in the same area, but officials directed him to a higher location, where he was able to be lifted out by Fantone and the employees. One of the two cheetahs in the exhibit looked at humans trying to escape but did not approach them.

Fantone told the Massillion Independent: "It was just an intense moment. Kids were crying. Everyone was screaming." He added: "Everything happened very quickly."

Michelle Schwab has since been charged with child endangerment, while Fantone has a story he can tell for years.

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