‘The city of Worcester has lost a hero’: Massachusetts police officer dies trying to save drowning teen

U.S. & World

WORCESTER, Mass. (WPRI) — An officer that jumped into a Worcester pond Friday afternoon in an attempt to save a drowning teenager has died, Worcester Police Chief Steven Sargent said.

Sargent said officers were called to the Green Hill Park after receiving multiple reports of people drowning in the pond.

When the officers arrived, Sargent said they saw three teenagers in the pond struggling to stay afloat. One of those teens was reaching only his arm above the water.

In total, Sargent said five officers jumped into the water, including 38-year-old Emmanuel Familia.

The officers were able to rescue two of the swimmers, but quickly realized both Familia and the third teen, identified by Sargent only as a 14-year-old boy, had not resurfaced.

Sargent said divers were called to the scene to search for Familia and the boy. After a couple of hours, Sargent said both were found unresponsive and rushed to the hospital where they were later pronounced dead.

Familia was a five-year veteran of the force and leaves behind a wife and two children, according to Sargent.

“The Worcester Police Department has lost a brother, a friend and a partner, and the city of Worcester has lost a hero,” Sargent said. “We will remember and honor his selfless devotion to Worcester and his ultimate sacrifice to save someone he didn’t know.”

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