Good Samaritan and NYPD officers stop woman from plunging into East River: VIDEO

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, March 20, 2024
VIDEO: Good Samaritan, NYPD officers stop woman from plunging into East River
Bodycam video captured the officers talking to the 19-year-old woman and grabbing her hands to stop her from falling into the water.

MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- The life of a distraught young woman, about to plunge into the East River, was saved by a good Samaritan and quick-acting NYPD officers.

A passerby noticed a woman looking upset and sitting on the wrong side of the fence lining the river last Sunday.

He notified three nearby police officers, who normally work in the Bronx, and not together, but were working overtime near the Manhattan Bridge for the NYC Half Marathon.

One officer started talking to the young woman as the others radioed for harbor units and an ambulance, but the woman said nothing as she started lowering herself into the water.

The woman, dangling inches from being swept by the East River's powerful current, can be heard on police bodycam recordings screaming to let her go, but there was no way they were going to.

"I immediately got down on the ground and put my hands underneath the railing and grabbed her wrists as tight as I could," Officer Jonathan Mazza said.

Officer Crisbel Lopez also held on tight, and the two assured her help was coming.

"They both had one hand and she was hanging off the ledge and they were holding onto her for a good two to three minutes before harbor was pulling up to the ledge," Officer Jessette Adorno said.

Officer Mazza is a former lifeguard who says he would have gone in the water after her if he had to.

"I thought about my family and my loved ones, and knew she was going through something, and what she was going through wasn't worth doing what she was doing, but I was there to be with her and help her however we could," Mazza said.

Once the harbor and emergency services units were on the scene those long harrowing minutes were finally behind them.

"I hope that moving forward she gets the help she needs, medically, and I just hope she never goes through this again," Officer Lopez said.

Once the woman was safe, Officer Mazza told Eyewitness News reporter Sonia Rincon that he noticed missed calls and worried texts on the woman's phone.

He called and spoke to a very worried family member who called him back Tuesday, letting him know the 19-year-old is responsive and doing better.


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