NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some NYPD officers leaped into action Sunday morning to save a woman after she tumbled into the Hudson River after a fight.
In the choppy water just off Pier 62 near West 23rd Street, police rescued a 33-year-old woman who appeared to be struggling, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported.
They said she jumped into the Hudson after having a fight with her boyfriend.
Restaurant manager Jesus Santos told Duddridge he was just opening up shop nearby at 8 a.m. when he saw a scuffle.
“We saw a bunch of police officers running, firefighters and SCUBA divers. They went straight down that way,” Santos said. “We heard there was a couple fighting. Then the guy called the police officer. When the lady saw the officers coming in that’s when she jumped into the water.”
Officers were already on the way, responding to the couple’s domestic dispute call, when they realized the woman had tumbled over the railing.
“She was in the water. She was struggling with her book bag on her. My partner started unbuckling his gun belt. I went to the trunk of the vehicle and grabbed the buoy,” NYPD Officer Tim Poon said.
That partner, Officer Christopher Collins, who used to be a lifeguard, said his training kicked in instantly.
“Like any cop would do, just start taking off my vest, shirt, gun belt. I went over to the side over here, jumped in, went after her, swam after her. Then I noticed she was struggling because she had a big backpack on and it was tangled. She couldn’t get it off so I had to get it off her,” Officer Collins said.
The officers managed to pull the woman up onto the deck and then took her to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation. They said her boyfriend stayed on scene and cooperated with police and other witnesses also tried to help.
“She was definitely struggling. Her bag probably weighed like 50 pounds and it was pulling her down, so we knew we couldn’t wait,” Officer Collins said.
The maneuver was especially urgent given how officers said the river was rough Sunday morning, and there was a lot of boat traffic near the pier where it’s not safe to swim.