WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - The city of Worcester came together Saturday morning for a procession honoring the police officer who drowned in a Worcester pond on Friday while trying to rescue a 14-year-old boy who also drowned.
The streets were lined with a sea of blue as officers from across the Bay State gathered to honor Worcester Officer Enmanuel “Manny” Familia, who was taken from UMass Memorial to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Westfield.
Emergency crews were called to Green Hill Park Pond around 1:30 p.m. Friday after witnesses reported hearing three kids screaming for help in the water.
The five police officers who were the first to arrive on scene jumped into the water and were able to rescue two of the three kids.
As more officers arrived, 38-year-old Familia went in to search for the third child and did not come back out. Divers located his body at 2:28 p.m. and transported him to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to Chief Steven M. Sargent.
At 3:25 p.m. the 14-year-old boy was located. He was also pronounced dead at the hospital.
Familia was a five-year veteran of the force and described as a credit to his department. He is survived by his wife, two children, and his parents.
“The Worcester Police Department has lost a brother, a friend and a partner. The city of Worcester has lost a hero. We will remember and we will honor his selfless devotion to Worcester and his ultimate sacrifice to save someone he didn’t know,” Sargent said.
Another diver was also transported with minor injuries.
“He went in without any regard for his own life and went after that kid,” said witness Megan Lamonda.
Residents at the procession said they wanted to remember a hero.
“[Familia was] heroic, very heroic. Didn’t think of himself, just went right in,” said Scott Nishan.
Sara Croft, who is married to a police officer, wanted to offer her support to Familia’s wife and children.
“You hope they get something from it, and that it means something to the officers and families that are going through all of this, that we’re here to support them,” Croft said.
(Copyright (c) 2021 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)