11-Year-Old Drowns in Queens Pond Trying to Save Friend

An 11-year-old boy is dead after trying to save a friend who fell into an icy pond in Queens.

Anthony Perez and his 12-year-old friend were playing near Strack Pond in Forest Park on Tuesday afternoon when the friend fell into the pond. 

Perez went in after him and was able to rescue the 12-year-old, but then fell through the ice himself.

"He ended up dying a hero and I'm proud of him for risking his life and saving one of his friends," a friend of Perez said.

Firefighters responded to the scene and went into the water after Perez.

“They had to physically, with their hands, break through the ice and chop to the ice so they could get to the area that they knew that the child would most likely be in by the opening of the ice and they had to go underneath to get the child and remove him,” Deputy Fire Chief George Healy said.

Firefighters brought the boy from the water but he wasn’t breathing. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

"Anthony was a very smart boy, happy, smiling, playing with my kids," his next door neighbor Jennifer told WOR's "Len Berman in the Morning." "You know, 11-years-old, he was a very bright kid."

Deputy Fire Chief Healy said this should serve as a warning to parents.

“Tell your children, make sure they’re aware. Today the temperature was well above freezing. The ice is not safe. It’s not gonna support your weight and it can have tragic consequences,” Healy said.

Two firefighters were treated for hypothermia.

"I believe no kid should be near the pond, whatsoever," Jennifer said.

Photo Credit:  Alice-Stockton Rossini


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