A Bayside-based officer was awarded Cop of the Month this week for his quick thinking that saved a young boy’s life.
Police Officer Konstantinos Saoulis was working the late-night shift on Jan. 6 when the precinct received a call about an emotionally disturbed person, commanding officer Inspector William McBride told attendees at the February 111th Precinct Community Council meeting.
“It had been cold for quite a few days already. So much so that Little Neck Bay was completely frozen over,” McBride noted.
Upon further investigation, officers discovered the disturbed individual was a young person who ran away from his family and indicated he wanted to commit suicide.
After arriving at the scene, Saoulis was able to spot the boy and followed him out onto the frozen bay. While trying to connect with the troubled youth, Saoulis discovered that he and the boy both spoke Greek and was able to develop a dialogue.
“Going out on the ice in a situation like that is one of the most dangerous things I can think of to do voluntarily, especially at night,” McBride said.
When the boy began waking back toward Saoulis, he suddenly slipped through the ice. The quick-thinking officer tried to grab the boy out of the water, but in the struggle also found himself in the water.
Saoulis was able to push the youth out from the water. Officers then approached Saoulis and were able to pull him out, as well.
The youth was taken into custody and transported to the hospital for treatment. Saoulis was also taken to the hospital where he was treated for hypothermia and exposure to the elements.
“No bones about it: if [Saoulis] wasn’t out there risking his life by going out on the ice after this kid, we probably would have had a much sadder and more tragic result,” McBride said. “We’re very proud of the actions he took that night.”