SEE IT: Jacksonville teen rescues 7-year-old from dust devil, becomes unlikely hero

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In a heart-stopping incident that unfolded within a mere five seconds, Aidan Wiles, a high school junior from Sandalwood, displayed exceptional courage and selflessness as he rescued 7-year-old Bauer Zoya from the clutches of a menacing dust devil.

The incident has thrust Wiles into the spotlight, despite his reluctance to accept the title of a hero.


Eyewitnesses describe the harrowing scene that unfolded before their eyes, as young Little League player Bauer Zoya found himself surrounded and whipped around by the powerful vortex of the dust devil. It was at that very moment that Wiles, who works as an umpire on the weekends, displayed an incredible sense of urgency, and rushed in to rescue the distressed young boy.

“I just saw him freaked out, just like couldn’t find his way out, and I knew his little body couldn’t handle it, so I just rushed in and got him,” Wiles said.

Bauer, still recovering from the ordeal, expressed his gratitude towards Wiles, saying, “At first, I was scared, but I just told myself to think of happy thoughts. Then I thought the twister got me, but it was Aidan, and I could breathe again.”

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Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh, who analyzed the video of the incident, shed light on the intensity of the dust devil.

“The winds are probably, maybe 30-40 miles per hour right in the middle of that dust devil. For a 7-year-old, you’re definitely thinking, ‘Wow, what’s happening here?’” Buresh said.

The courageous act performed by Wiles has garnered immense attention on social media, with both local and national news outlets sharing the viral video of the rescue. Wiles has since become a subject of admiration and praise, despite some light-hearted teasing from his friends.

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Reflecting on the incident, Wiles mentioned that the experience has been “pretty cool” despite the playful banter from his peers. Meanwhile, Bauer, clearly inspired by Wiles’ bravery, is eagerly awaiting the chance to personally express his gratitude.

“Next time I see him, I just want to say thank you,” Bauer said.

As the community rallies around these two individuals, this extraordinary act of heroism reminds us that heroes come in all forms, often arising from ordinary circumstances. Aidan Wiles’ selfless response to someone in need has left an indelible mark on Bauer Zoya’s life, a bond that transcends the boundaries of age and circumstance.

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