Officer drowns trying to save teen from Massachusetts pond

WORCESTER, Mass. — A police officer in Massachusetts died Friday while trying to rescue a boy who was drowning in a pond.

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Worcester Police Officer Emanuel “Manny” Familia dove into Green Hill Pond to try to rescue 14-year-old Troy Love who disappeared about midway across the water, WFXT reported.

“(Love) died happy. He always liked to do fun stuff. He was a good kid. He didn’t deserve to die like that,” older brother Joseph Guy said. “That police officer, he got in there. I saw him, he got in there with his belt and everything. He was trying to save my brother’s life. He died a hero.”

Love’s girlfriend first swam across without incident. Then, Love and his siblings followed but soon realized they would not make it.

“I didn’t think it was deep,” Guy said. “We are from Virginia and we are used to swimming in lakes all the time but I felt like when we were in the water there’s a swirling thing that pulls you under and you can’t come back up.”

A rescue team arrived and divers were eventually able to find Love. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

While there are “No Swimming” signs posted in some parts of the pond, from where the family went into the pond there are no signs in sight, WFXT reported.

“It just happened really fast,” sister Destiny Potter said.

Familia, a five-year veteran of the department, drowned while trying to rescue the teen. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

Gov. Charlie Baker shared his condolences on social media.

“Tonight, two families are experiencing unimaginable pain and loss,” Baker said. “Officer Familia is a hero who made the ultimate sacrifice while attempting to save the young man.”

Worcester Police Chief Steven Sargent called Familia selfless.

“The Worcester Police Department has lost a brother, friend and a partner,” he said. “The city of Worcester has lost a hero.”

Statement on the Drownings at Green Hill Park On June 4, 2021 Chief Steven M. Sargent and the Worcester Police...

Posted by Worcester Police Department (Official) on Friday, June 4, 2021

Police from across the state showed their support during a procession for Familia on Saturday, WFXT reported.