frozen pond
Representation Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

A 11-year-old boy died Tuesday after saving his friend who fell into the water through a thin sheet of ice of a pond in Queens in New York City.

According to a report by New York Daily News, Anthony Perez was with his 12-year-old friend at Strack Pond in Forest Park. The latter walked a considerable distance on the pond which was covered by a layer of ice and fell through the ice at 4 p.m. EST, according police sources.

Perez who was standing by the side of the frozen pond immediately went into the water in order to pull his friend out. But Perez couldn’t get out of the water, added police sources.

The 12-year-old, after coming out of the water, immediately went to his home to seek help. By that time, Perez was already in the freezing water body for half an hour, said sources from the police and New York City Fire Department. According to FDNY deputy chief, George Healy, the first responders came to the scene, which was at Forest Park Drive and Woodhaven Blvd., in four minutes after getting a 911 call at 4:05 p.m. EST.

Healy further stated Tuesday that three police officers along with three firefighters went onto pond in order to find Perez as the ice was breaking under their feet.

Healy said, “They were in about chest deep water wading through the water. At some point the ice did firm up.”

“They had to physically with their hands break through the ice and chop the ice so they could get to the area they knew that the child would most likely be in, the opening in the ice,” Healy added.

Perez was found under a break in the ice and he was not breathing. The medical team took him to Jamaica Medical Center. Police said that Perez died at the hospital after two hours.

Healy added that two of the firefighters who tried to find Perez were diagnosed with hypothermia (dangerous drop in body temperatures).

The report further stated that Perez was a happy kid in his neighborhood which was 1000 feet to the North from Strack Pond. Carmen Rivera, 51, who stays on the floor below of Perez’s family, said, “He’s [Perez] friendly with a lot of people. He’s not shy and he loves to help.”

“That’s Anthony [Perez]. He’s a hero,” added Rivera.

Another neighbor, Leonardo Coraci, 41, said he instantly went to the park to assist Perez when he heard noises outside but by the time he reached, Perez was already taken out of the water.

Coraci said, “It stinks. He’ll be in my prayers. It’s a shame.”

“He always had his big smile. It’s a shame that something bad has to happen to this kid,” added Coraci.

The pond was situated at the bottom of a hill and was surrounded by trees. There was also a bright sign, red in color, which states, “Danger: Thin Ice," written both in English and Spanish.

Park Department officials said although the city parks are open all over the year, people are restricted from going near the water bodies.

Parks Commissioner, Mitchell Silver, said, “Our hearts go out to Anthony’s [Perez] family and friends following today’s tragedy.”

Healy said, “There are a lot of lakes around the city of New York. Especially to children, they might be enticing at this time of year.”

“The ice is not safe. It's not going to support your weight and it can have tragic consequences,” added Healy.