NYPD cops rescue two teens from East River

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NYPD officer and Coram resident Helder Santos and his partner Sgt. Joseph Hartnett rushed to the East River on Friday afternoon to help rescue two teenagers from its cold waters.

Santos and Hartnett, assigned to the 23rd Precinct, were in their squad car near 11th Street and FDR Drive when they saw witnesses waving and pointing at the two teens about 12:45 p.m.

The officers hopped the waterfront railing, near Thomas Jefferson Park, and saw the two teens, Christopher Arriaga, 17, and Diego Perez, whose age wasn't released, up to their necks in water and clutching wooden pylons, police said.

The patrolmen laid flat on their stomachs on a cemented area that extends about 15 yards into the water and four feet above it, the NYPD said.

Crawling closer to Arriaga, the officers extended their arms to reach him. Together, they grabbed the teen and pulled him to safety, police said.

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Perez, who showed signs of hypothermia, was more difficult to rescue because he initially refused to let go of the pylons, police said.

Just then officers Siddiqah Withers and Leonardo Munoz, also of the 23rd Precinct, arrived. They anchored Santos and Hartnett and the four officers grabbed Perez and pulled him out of the water.

Arriaga and Perez were taken to Harlem Hospital with minor injuries. None of the officers was injured.

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