An 11-year-old boy lost his life after rescuing his friend from a frozen park in Queens, New York on Tuesday afternoon. Police said Anthony Perez tragically died while pulling his 12-year-old pal Juan Umpierrez out of the water in Forest Park on Myrtle Avenue during after school hours. The children had been playing together near the pond when Umpierrez accidentally fell in.
Perez successfully assisted his friend out of the icy water, but while doing so, he tumbled in himself. When a team hurried to rescue Perez, it was too late, FDNY deputy chief George Healy told the New York Post. Healy said the help trudged though water ‘up to their chest’ to retrieve the child, and when they did, his breathing had already stopped. He was administered CPR and also transported to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Two firefighters were hospitalized for hypothermia. His friend, Umpierrez, turned out OK, but Perez ‘couldn’t save himself,’ Healy said sadly.
Neighbor to the late Middle Village boy, Donnamarie Colandro Parlatore, who said Perez often played in the neighborhood with her grand kids, shared a heartbreaking message to Facebook late Tuesday. I am going though very bad day. I got bad news today a child I knew life was taken… he was only 11 years old,’ Parlatore wrote. ‘He was with his friends. Anthony is his name, he was at the lake at forest park in queens NY. He stood on the ice in the lake and the ice broken. He fell right though the ice and drown.
‘I knew him well he play with my grandchildren came in my house. I am lost with words I just cant believe it,’ she added, next to, ‘R.I.P. My little angel. Anthony you will never be forgotten. I love you little man.’ Neighbor Carmen Rivera told the Post Perez was a friendly, ‘nice little kid’ and now, a true ‘hero’.
Another neighbor who knew him, Leonardo Coraci, also spoke fondly of the boy. ‘He’s a good kid, he’s a really great kid… it’s a shame,’ Coraci said of the tragic accident. The New York City Fire Department since released a safety warning to Twitter warning parents about the unsafe conditions of lakes and ponds during winter.