Teen rescued from Genesee River

[anvplayer video=”5132903″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – A call about a young teen swimming in the Genesee River turned into a rescue for several University of Rochester peace officers. It happened early Sunday morning.

Friday morning News10NBC met with the officers to talk to them about how they were able pull the teen safely out of the river.

Public safety officers tell us they often deal with students jumping into the river for fun, but what they didn’t know was if this teen was struggling in the water.

It all started Sunday morning when a University of Rochester employee noticed that there was a person in the water. He called U of R’s Public Safety Department for help. Peace Officer Adam Sorell was one of the first to arrive.

“I observed an individual approximately 40-yards down trying to get up, but continually falling down in the river. Off, and on would go out about 15 yards into the river,” said Sorell.

Officers are not releasing the teen’s name, but say he fit the description of a non-verbal autistic teen from Rochester that was reported missing. Veronica Rivera tells us she kept a close watch on the teen to make sure he didn’t drift away. She was ready to jump into the river to save him.

“It would’ve been kind of scary being that I have all this weight, extra you know uniform on, but I would definitely jumped in if I had to,” said Rivera.

Officer Taylor Agnello says they had to use hand signals to communicate with the teen.

“We were able to kind of get him to swim down here. Pulled him out. It was a little bit of a challenge but it all worked out, and then kind of sat him over on the bench. Got him a blanket,” said Agnello.

Sergeant Tim Kozlowski says the officers relied on their training.

“We go through multiple trainings such as crisis intervention training, as well as autistic spectrum disorder training in order to be familiar, and comfortable with talking and communicating with people with disorders,” said Kozlowski.

The teen was released to his parents. The officers say his mother was visibly upset, but thankful that he was pulled out of the water. His parents declined our request for an interview.