On June 13, two Cutler Bay police officers dove into the murky waters of Montego Bay Lake and saved a 15-year-old girl from drowning.
Sgt. Frank Farinas and Officer Anthony Zayas, as well as Officer Rommy Pena, were recognized with plaques of appreciation for their professionalism, dedication and contributions to the town of Cutler Bay at the Aug. 20 Town Council meeting.
“They are amazing,” said Maj. Julie Miller, chief of the Cutler Bay police unit. “To jump in the water, in the dark, not knowing what you are going to encounter — they saved this girl’s life. They were truly heroic.”
Farinas and Zayas arrived on the scene after receiving an emergency call from a Montego Bay Lake resident, asking for immediate assistance concerning a distraught female who was reportedly under the influence of an unknown substance and “highly intoxicated.” The girl was yelling that she wished to end her life and attempted to drown herself in the lake. When they saw her head dip below the water, the two officers jumped in and dragged her to shore.
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“Somebody called and said there was a girl screaming that she was going to kill herself,” Miller said. “I’m more proud of (the officers) than I ever could be. They were amazing.”
After getting to shore, the girl lost consciousness before Pena assessed her vital signs and found that she had a weak pulse and shallow breath. The officers then cradled the girl and brought her to the front of a house in the neighborhood in order to provide Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units with a physical address, so that the she could be transported to the hospital.
Cutler Bay, which has 52 police employees, contracts with Miami-Dade County for police services.
“I’ve gone publicly numerous times to say that we have one of the best police departments in the country,” Cutler Bay Town Manager Ralph Casals said. “It’s just another example of the dedication of the officers and the things that they do that go unnoticed. This one here I didn’t want to go unnoticed and wanted to publicly recognize from the sergeant to the two officers who put their life at risk going into the murky lake saving the teen from committing suicide.”