Worcester Police officer drowns trying to save children from pond

WORCESTER, Mass. — What was supposed to be a fun swim across Green Hill Pond turned deadly for Troy Love, 14, and for Worcester Officer Enmanuel ‘Manny’ Familia, who tried to save Love’s life.

Love’s siblings who were swimming with him and say he tried getting across Green Hill Pond and when he got to the middle he started to drown. They tried to save him but couldn’t find him and by the time divers did, it was too late.

“He was actually at the hospital and still had a heartbeat after being down there for 90 minutes and they couldn’t get his body warm enough to raise the heartbeat so they had to pull the plug,” said older brother Joseph Guy fighting back tears. “The officer that died, he tried, I met his family at the hospital and apologized.”

Love’s family says after his girlfriend swam across, Love and his siblings followed and realized they wouldn’t make it.

“It just happened really fast,” his little sister Destiny Potter said.

“I didn’t think it was deep,” said Guy. “We are from Virginia and we are used to swimming in lakes all the time but I felt like when we were in the water there’s a swirling thing that pulls you under and you can’t come back up.”

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They say people nearby called 911 and scuba divers hooked up to a string were moving back-and-forth looking for Love.

“There were two at a time and they kept coming back to get oxygen,” said his younger sister Arrieanna Potter.

The family now having to mourn their own brother and offer condolences.

“He died happy he always like to do fun stuff, he was a good kid he didn’t deserve to die like that,” said Guy. “That police officer, he got in there. I saw him, he got in there with his belt and everything he was trying to save my brother’s life. He died a hero.”

There are signs at the pond that say ‘No Swimming.’ One, in particular, says ‘Swimming may cause illness,’ but from the vantage point of where the family was swimming, there are no signs in sight.

Gov. Charlie Baker took to Twitter to express his condolences over Officer Familia’s death.

Chief Steven Sargent described Familia as selfless.

“The Worcester Police Department has lost a brother, friend and a partner. The city of Worcester has lost a hero,” Sargent said.

Jose Rosado, a high school friend of Familia’s, told Boston 25 News that the officer was as great of a friend as he was an officer.

“He was just a good person all around. It’s just sad,” he said.

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