central park

NYPD Counterterrorism Cops Rescue Teen Who Falls Through Thin Ice at Central Park

Two NYPD counterterrorism officers on patrol at Central Park rescued a 16-year-old boy who fell through thin ice Monday, a day after two teenagers fell into the water after walking onto one of the lakes.

Officers Anthony DiSpigna and Eddie Radoncic, who are part of the counterterrorism unit's Critical Response Command, were patrolling at Grand Army Plaza when a passerby alerted them to a teen in the water near 59th Street and East Drive. 

Witnesses said the teen had been dancing on the ice moments earlier.

"He was walking on the ice, dancing and taking videos," said Serge Nikema, a pedicab driver.

When the ice cracked, the teen fell into the frigid waters. 

"He was trying to come up, you know, grabbing the ice, but the ice kept breaking," said another witness who only wanted to be identified as Elizabeth. 

The officers ran down the stairs, met with Parks Department officers who were already there and formulated a plan to latch ladders together to pull the boy in, Chief James Waters said at a news conference Monday. 

But they were forced to speed things along when they heard the ice crack.

"It was getting weaker and weaker by the minute," said Radondic.  

Radoncic decided to take off his gun belt and walk out onto the ice with one of the ladders. He slid it to the boy, who grabbed one of the rungs, and started to pull the ladder and the boy out of the water. 

As soon as the boy was out of the water, but still on the ice, he no longer had the strength to hold on, and Radoncic dropped the ladder, walked closer to the ice, grabbed the boy's coat and slid him toward him. 

DiSpigna grabbed his other arm and assisted in pulling him to shore. 

The officers said the teen was blue and appeared to be in shock. The cops, along with bystanders, covered him in clothing and blankets before he was taken to the hospital. 

The teen, who was alone at the time, is expected to be OK. 

"I'm very, very proud of these officers," said Waters. "These are what NYPD officers do each and every day." 

Such accidents have happened several times this year already as rising temperatures thin the ice on the park's lakes.

On Sunday, two teenagers fell through the ice after walking out onto a lake there. The 13-year-old and 15-year-old were able to get out of the water on their own, police said. Both went to St. Luke's hospital for evaluation. 

One of those teens, Isaiah Pumarejo, told News 4 on Monday that he and his friend were trying to get a phone that had fallen.

"When he went to grab it, he fell through, so I went to get him and I fell, too," said Pumajero, speaking with his mother's permission.  

Last month, seven young people were rescued from a pond in Central Park after they suddenly plunged through the ice on an unseasonably warm February day. 

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