Boy Falls into Frigid Queens Pond, Gets Trapped Beneath Ice

WNBC 4 - February 07, 2018

by Checkey Beckford

An 11-year-old boy died Tuesday after authorities said he pushed a friend to safety when the ice they were standing on broke and sent them plunging into a frigid Queens pond. Anthony Perez died after falling through the ice at Strack Pond in Forest Park about 4 p.m., according to police.

Fire officials said that he was playing with another child and went 50 feet out onto the ice, despite signs warning about the danger.

Police said after he fell through, he pushed the other child to safety. Then, the other child ran home to get help.

"I'm gonna call him a hero," said neighbor Carmen Rivera. "He's a hero."

Chopper 4 footage from the scene shows rescuers in the water searching for the boy, who appears to be trapped under the thin sheet of ice about 10 minutes after the fall was reported.

"They were in about chest deep water," said Deputy FDNY Chief George Healy. "They had to physically break through the ice."

When firefighters found the boy, they quickly grabbed him and rushed back to dry land, where several other rescuers were waiting to administer aid.

Authorities said the boy was taken to Jamaica Hospital in critical condition. He was not breathing at the time of the rescue and was administered CPR, and was pronounced dead sometime after he arrived.

The pond has signs just outside it that warn parkgoers the ice isn't thick enough to support a person's weight.

"The ice in the city of New York on the lakes and ponds is not safe," said Healy. Two firefighters were treated for hypothermia.