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Stamford police rescue 7-year-old boy who fell into water off pier

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Joe Torres reports on a 7-year-old boy rescued by officers after falling off pier.

Police officers rescued a 7-year-old boy who fell off a pier in Stamford and into the Long Island Sound Sunday.

The incident happened off the fishing pier at Cummings Park at 6:27 p.m.

Authorities said the child, Jadiel Garcia, could not swim and was holding onto pylon in the water.

Arriving officers observed the child approximately 70 feet out in the water with his head just above the water.

Two officers ran down the pier, while a sergeant entered the water from the beach alongside the pier.

"We proceed down the pier and see the 7-year-old in the water grabbing onto one of the structure beams of the pier," Officer Mike Montanaro said. "From there, seeing the look on his face and his friends around him saying he doesn't know how to swim."

So the officers began to disrobe -- guns, belts, vests -- and another quick glance at the boy made it clear that they needed to act and act quickly.

"We looked over, and we could see him visually shaking," Officer Damein Rosa said. "He was holding on not making any eye contact. We don't have a lot of time with those types of incidents."

The two officers jumped over the pier's 4-foot fence and plunged into the water to grab the boy. Sergeant Charles White reached them from the beach, and together they all swam back to the shore. White said it appeared the boy's cousins coaxed him to jump into the water.

"Most children at that age would be panicked, and as we all know, panicking when you are getting into the water in a water situation leads to drowning," White said. "This 7-year-old was able to identify that he was in trouble. He got over to the pylon as quickly as he could, and held onto that."

EMS transported Garcia to Stamford Hospital, where he was treated and released.

"The Stamford Police Department is very proud of the response of the three officers who responded to this call for assistance," the department said in a statement. "We are very happy that the child is now home with his family."

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