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HERO: Jogging Off-Duty Port Authority Officer Rescues Suicidal River Jumper

PAPD Officer Eileen Fitzgerald
PAPD Officer Eileen Fitzgerald Photo Credit: COURTESY: Port Authority PD

An off-duty Port Authority police officer out for a run rescued a suicidal woman who’d jumped into the East River Tuesday afternoon.

PAPD Officer Eileen Fitzgerald was running along a path in Astoria Park in Queens when she saw a crowd gathered along the shore near the intersection of 20th Avenue and Shore Boulevard around 1:30 p.m., authority spokeswoman Lenis Rodrigues said.

Fitzgerald dashed over, told a civilian to dial 911, then climbed down the rocks to the river, speaking to the woman the entire time, Rodrigues said.

The woman said “she no longer wanted to live and to let her go,” Rodrigues said.

Fitzgerald told her that she was going to help her and asked the woman to come toward her before the river’s strong currents swept her away.

The officer and a woman who identified herself as the victim’s cousin coaxed her to shore and pulled the woman out of the water, Rodrigues said.

Fitzgerald then removed her outer sweater and draped it over the woman.

Another good Samaritan climbed down to help, and they all brought the woman up to the rocks to street level.

Officers from the NYPD’s 114th Precinct brought the woman to a nearby hospital.

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