Middle Village boy, 11, dies saving friend from frozen pond

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An 11-year-old Middle Village boy is dead after falling through the ice on a frozen pond, FDNY officials said.

According to police, Anthony Perez, 11, and his friend Juan Umpierrez, 12, were playing on the frozen waters of Strack Pond in Forest Park Tuesday afternoon when Umpierrez fell through. Perez rushed to help Umpierrez, fell in himself, and was unable to get out of the freezing water.

Police said Umpierrez ran home to call 911 and when the FDNY arrived, firefighters had to break through the ice with their hands so they could get to the area that they knew he would most likely be, then went into the water to get him.

Once they retrieved his body from the pond, firefighters performed CPR to try to revive Perez, but were unable. The boy was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Two firefighters were treated for hypothermia and are in stable condition, the FDNY said.

FDNY Deputy Chief George Healy implored parents to make sure their kids know the ice on the lakes and ponds of the city are not safe places to play.

“It won’t support your weight,” he said in a statement. “Please stay off the ice. There are signs around all the lakes in the city and we implore you, tell your children it can have tragic consequences. Again, the ice looks to be safe, it looks to be thick, but the temperature today was well above freezing.”

Medical examiners will determine Perez’s cause of death.

Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

Posted 12:00 am, February 8, 2018
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