BAYONNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A man didn’t think twice about rushing to rescue a driver who plunged into the water off of a park in New Jersey.
Making him even more heroic, he jumped in with only one leg to save that stranger.
It was a moment of panic at Hudson County Park on Tuesday, fear traveling through the blood of visitors who witnessed an SUV drive into the water.
But there were two men who wasted no time jumping right in. One of those men was 29-year-old Anthony Capuano, a certified swim instructor and lifeguard who did not let having one leg stop him from diving headfirst to help.
“I hopped over the fence, I took off my leg,” Capuano told CBS2’s Cory James.
Capuano could be seen within seconds, making it all the way to the sinking vehicle.
“He was like ‘I can’t’ and I was like ‘oh no’ and then I just, I grabbed him,” he said. “He was panicking a little bit and his body was a little locked up.”
The trained swimmer managed to pull the driver out and back to shore as others stood by waiting to help and the SUV became submerged underwater.
Bystanders called Capuano and the other good Samaritan heroes.
A hero Robert Staph, Capuano’s boss at the British Swim School, is proud of.
“The fact that one of our instructors did what we preach and what we stand for on a daily basis in such a heroic manner, it’s unbelievable. I’m so proud of him,” Staph said.
Witness Helena Bilodeau watched the rescue in awe.
“We were amazed that this man, Anthony, was the one that went in there,” she said. “And we learned that Anthony has one leg missing … His physical condition did not stop him.”
Something Capuano wants other people like him to keep in mind.
“To my fellow amputees out there, I would just say don’t let anything stop you,” he said.
Hudson County Sheriff’s officials say the driver was not injured and they’re looking to see if there was an issue or malfunction with his pedal.
The good news is someone was nearby to help him.
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