Fairfield police say a Paterson woman and a male companion were in the pool at the La Quinta Inn on Thursday with her five children, who range in age from 1 to 9.
Police say none knew how to swim, and the 9-year-old went under water.
The companion ran to the front desk for help. Police say 37-year-old Randolph Tajada-Perez, of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, was checking in.
Tajada-Perez, who doesn't know how to swim, jumped into the pool and after several attempts reached the child.
"Anyone who has a fear of water and is not comfortable swimming can truly appreciate the bravery displayed by this hero guest, who conquered his own fears to save the young life of another," Police Chief Anthony Manna said.. "All of us at the police department are extremely proud of him."
The boy is in stable condition.
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