Photo Courtesy of FDNY
Anthony Perez, 11, died at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center after firefighters pulled him from Strack Pond in Forest Park.
By Michael V. Cusenza
An 11-year-old Glendale boy died Tuesday evening at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, hours after City firefighters pulled his unconscious body out of an ice-capped pond in Forest Park, according to FDNY officials.
Anthony Perez and an unidentified 12-year-old friend were on Strack Pond near Forest Park Drive and Woodhaven Boulevard inside the massive borough green space around 4 p.m. when the older boy ventured too far out – about 50 feet, according to firefighters – and the thin sheet of ice gave way, plunging him into the murky water.
Anthony jumped in and pushed his friend to safety. But he was unable to extract himself and eventually slipped under the ice. His buddy ran to get help.
According to published reports, Anthony was submerged for approximately 30 minutes before FDNY crews could drag him out.
“Members had to physically, with their hands, break through the ice and chop the ice so they could get to the area that they knew the child would most likely be in,” said FDNY Deputy Chief George Healy. “They had to go underneath to get the child.”
Two firefighters were rushed to the hospital to be treated for hypothermia.
“Again, the ice looks to be safe, it looks to be thick, but the temperature today was well above freezing,” Healy added. “There are signs and we implore parents: Make sure your kids know the ice in the city of New York, on these lakes and ponds, is not safe. It won’t support your weight. Please stay off the ice.”