A 40-year-old New York man gave his life saving a small child from the Hudson River, the New York Post reports.
According to the report, Boyce “Scoop” Coleman was at a barbecue at the riverside in Yonkers when he heard that a child was in the water. The heroic man jumped “ … over the fence with his clothes, sneakers, shades, everything,” his friend Ronald Colbert told the news site.
The tattoo artist managed to get the little boy to another person who had come to help before he disappeared underwater. His body wasn’t recovered until an hour after the incident, the Post notes.
“I guess he ran out of breath,’’ Colbert said of Coleman, who reportedly knew how to swim. “He went down and never came back up.”
“There was just a lot of waiting and hoping someone would find him soon enough to do something, but it took forever,” Coleman’s nephew Michael Jordan added. “Scoop was a good man. He was a big dude, a strong character.”
Stephan Jones, the little boy Coleman rescued, is autistic, according to the Post. He was also nonverbal and prone to running away, neighbors explained to the news site. “He doesn’t like crowds,” Marissa Marsh told the Post. “He doesn’t talk. I know he does run off a lot.”
Coleman’s friends, though stricken with grief, were not surprised that the father of two sacrificed himself for the child.
“He had the biggest heart—he’d give you the shirt off his back,” one of Coleman’s former neighbors, Richie Lombardi, told the Post.
“I’m actually angry right now that he did jump in the water, but that’s Scoop,” April Pettiford, a friend, added.
Coleman leaves behind two daughters, ages 3 and 20.
Read more at the New York Post.