HERO DOWN: Officer Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Familia Makes Ultimate Sacrifice

Police officers often risk their lives to save civilians on a daily basis. Most don't even give it a second thought. If an officer has a chance to save a life, they will take it.

Worcester Massachusetts

A little after 1:30 in the afternoon, officers were sent out to Green Hill Park. They had received reports that three kids were screaming for help from a pond. One witness, Ayah Tanteh, called 911.

“Two kids were in the water trying to hold onto each other in the water when I got here, screaming that they couldn’t swim and that there was somebody else under.”

Incident Witness

WPD officers and the Worcester Fire Department moved quickly to get to the pond. Upon arrival, they saw people in the water. Officers said in the middle of the water, there was a teen who was "reaching an arm up and struggling."

Rescue Attempt

Officer Emmanuel Familia and four of his fellow officers ran to the water and jumped in to save the teens. Officers brought back two of the teens. However, Officer Familia and the boy had vanished.

Divers were able to find Officer Familia around 2:28 pm. He was unconscious when they pulled him from the water. UMass EMS began lifesaving measures and continued them all the way to the hospital.

Unfortunately he died at the hospital, WPD said. About an hour later divers also found the boy. He also was declared dead at the hospital. He was only 14.

A Tragic Loss

A total of seven divers helped in the search, one of which had injuries they were treated at the hospital for. The four officers who went into the water with Officer Familia were also checked out at the hospital.

“The city of Worcester has lost a hero. We will remember and honor his selfless devotion to Worcester and his ultimate sacrifice to save someone he didn’t know.”

WPD Chief Steven Sargent

Familia became an officer in 2013 and joined the WPD in 2016. Familia leaves behind his wife and children, Jayla and Joven.

In a strong show of support, over 100 WPD officers went to Jovan's baseball game to watch him throw the first pitch. With the help of his uncle, the 13-year-old wrote his father's initials and badge number on the mound.

Officers are more than coworkers. They are a community and they rally together when they are needed, just like these officers did for Joven.

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10 comments on “HERO DOWN: Officer Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Familia Makes Ultimate Sacrifice”

  1. 1: Why were the teens in the water if they cannot swim?
    2: what type of location was this that divers needed to be called in.
    My prayers go out to the officer and his family.

  2. First responders are often the first ones to give their life to save another ! God speed may they all Rest In Peace for their ultimate sacrifice .
    And yet there are many that want to defund and do away with these heroes .

  3. Our school system is a mess. They should stop all the racial diversity crap and teach all children to swim. Saving children's lives is a real issue.

  4. Thank you brave police officers for jumping in the lake to save the children! So sorry for the young boy and police officer that lost their lives! God bless each and every one of you and give strength to the families.

  5. For people who want to defund the police -
    The police are the first people you call when you need help wether it’s something that is not serious or something that is very serious.
    Police officers don’t get enough credit all you ever hear about are a very few who make bad choices.
    Mainly they are our hero’s as are their families . I would trust a policeman before I would trust a politician any day!! Especially politicians filled with hatred and their own agenda!! Please take note that none of them are with out
    Personal security !! Let’s take their security away and see what happens !

  6. My Heart goes out to the Officers wife & children for the loss of their Father and Husband, also to the family who lost the child. May God heal them all for their loss.

  7. My heart goes out to all our brave police. An to think some moron congressmen and civilians want to defund the police OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!! Who would they suggest they had called in to save these boys? A social worker. There is good an bad in all. So weed out the bad, that includes those we pay big salaries to govern this country that are doing nothing to protect America an our freedom. Save our police departments all across this country

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