FDNY's Marine Unit Rescues Dog, Man After They Jump Into Hudson River

NY Daily News - November 23, 2009

by John Lauinger

A rambunctious dog caused a scene when it leaped into the Hudson River Sunday - but it was only living up to its name.

Jerry Velez, 30, was walking Cain, a white pit bull mix along the Hudson River at W. 14th St. yesterday when he let the dog off its leash.

Bad move.

"I let the dog off the leash and the dog ran and jumped right over into the water," Velez told emergency responders, said Firefighter Paul Ruckdeschel.

Cain's crazy leap drove Velez nuts.

"[Velez] was freaking out because it was his brother's dog," Firefighter Paul Ruckdeschel recalled. "He didn't know what he was going to tell his brother."

Velez walked out onto a pier and climbed down onto a support beam near the waterline.

Cain doggy-paddled over to him, and the pair were rescued by a boat from the FDNY's Marine 1 unit.

Both man and dog were fine.

"His brother actually called and said, 'Where are you? And where is my dog?'," Ruckdeschel said. "And he said, 'Have I got a story to tell you when I get home.'"