An 11-year-old boy is being called a hero after he died trying to save a friend from a frozen pond Tuesday in New York City. CBS New York reports 11-year-old Anthony Perez and a 12-year-old friend were walking in a park in Queens around 4pm when the friend ventured out onto a frozen pond only to fall through the ice about 50 feet from the shore. Police say Anthony rushed to help his friend and fell in, too. "[Anthony] was able to push him out to safety, but he fell through ice and he couldn’t get out,” a law enforcement source tells the New York Post. The friend immediately ran for help. But by the time firefighters and police officers arrived, Anthony had been underwater for about 30 minutes and wasn't breathing, the New York Daily News reports.
Multiple rescuers fell through the ice while trying to get to Anthony. “They had to—physically with their hands—break through the ice and chop through the ice so that they could get to the area where they knew the child would most likely be,” CBS quotes FDNY Deputy Chief George Healy as saying. Rescuers provided CPR at the scene and on the way to the hospital, but Anthony was pronounced dead. Two firefighters had to be treated for hypothermia. A neighbor says it doesn't surprise her that Anthony risked his life to help his friend. "He’s got a good heart that little boy," Angela Vargas says. “I’m going to call him a hero: He’s a hero,” neighbor Carmen Rivera tells the Post. (In Utah, a deputy with no protective gear rescued a boy from a frozen pond.)