2000-05-17 / Front Page

Cop Saves Life Of Rescued Two-Year-Old

A two-year-old Jackson Heights boy whose life was saved on Monday by quick action by police after he was removed unconscious from the family’s backyard pool remained in critical condition yesterday in Elmhurst Hospital Center, police said.


Police Detective Steven McDonald spoke recently at a Jubilee Service of Reconciliation and Healing at St. John’s Preparatory School, Astoria. McDonald, who was paralyzed from the neck down when he was shot by a robbery suspect 15 years ago, told the studen
ts, faculty and staff of St. John’s Prep that “in a world of violence, you need to forgive over and over again.” Forgiveness, he explained, enabled him not only to live without bitterness but also be a messenger of peace to others. McDonald received two st
anding ovations from the St. John’s Prep community. His message was a topic of conversation throughout the school for days after his appearance. St. John’s Preparatory School Council President Margaret Abreu presents a statue of St. John the Baptist to McD
onald after his talk to the school community. Receiving the statue for McDonald is his nurse, Mary Horton.
Police Detective Steven McDonald spoke recently at a Jubilee Service of Reconciliation and Healing at St. John’s Preparatory School, Astoria. McDonald, who was paralyzed from the neck down when he was shot by a robbery suspect 15 years ago, told the studen ts, faculty and staff of St. John’s Prep that “in a world of violence, you need to forgive over and over again.” Forgiveness, he explained, enabled him not only to live without bitterness but also be a messenger of peace to others. McDonald received two st anding ovations from the St. John’s Prep community. His message was a topic of conversation throughout the school for days after his appearance. St. John’s Preparatory School Council President Margaret Abreu presents a statue of St. John the Baptist to McD onald after his talk to the school community. Receiving the statue for McDonald is his nurse, Mary Horton.

A quick response by his mother in calling ‘911’ after she got him out of the pool also helped to save his life.

Police said Anthony Dellavecchia had somehow managed to climb over a fence around the pool in the back yard at 22-11 74th St. and then climbed into the pool. His mother, Patricia, was inside feeding Anthony’s four-month-old sister when she noticed he wasn’t around. When she instinctively ran to the pool, she found her son unconscious and turning blue.

Her ‘911’ call at 12:49 p.m. brought four officers from the 114th Precinct, among them John Cutrone.

The cops found the boy breathing but with no pulse and his mother "frantic." Cutrone took the child and helped to clear his airway with a Heimlich maneuver as the police van sped to the hospital. It made the trip in two minutes because police from other precincts had cleared all traffic out of the police vehicle’s path.

Cutrone said that along the way to the hospital, the boy began to breathe again with Cutrone’s assistance. Once in the hospital, little Anthony’s heartbeat was restored in the emergency room.

According to police, doctors at the hospital said the next 72 hours will be critical for the child.

Cutrone, 32 and himself a father of a newborn son, recently completed an infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation class.

Lieutenant Patrick Wing, who was in command at the 114th at the time the incident occurred, said family members reported that young Anthony is "a notorious climber—he climbs everything."

He climbed over the fence and into the pool apparently while his mother was tending her younger child thinking Anthony was playing in the basement. But apparently, the toddler found his way into the back yard.

Police were investigating but were not expected to file any charges.

—John Toscano

 

 

 


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